The uncanny world of Varathron
Hailing from Hellas, Varathron is a true cult band. I mean, the bands nowadays kind of emulate a cult status (and this is not a criticism, since I like them), but the difference here is that Varathron is as old as Rotting Christ but did not achieve the same success, but they are a kind of Sarcófago from Greece, a band that now is recognized for their entire work.
And the evolution since the old demos – and mainly Black Arts Leads to Everlasting Sins, a CULT split with Necromantia which I heard like one billion times in my life – is latent and now they use and abuse of the changes of tempo and phrases, which make them hard to understand. But you know philosophy is hard to understand and it’s the best literature ever, so if the mob cannot get, it’s great!
Songs like Kabalistic Invocation Of Solomon and Realm Of Obscure are very clever, although the production is somewhat polished and the instruments audible, but the black sensations of evil are there. What is unique to them though is an aura of dark sadness translated by melodic riffs.
The most memorable song is Arcane Conjuring with a repetitive phrase and a riff that invokes the days of old. I mean the evolution is apparent, but they didn’t change their evil ways to something less satanic in order to get some success.
A song like The Bright Trapezium showcases all musical dexterity and cleverness in making intricate melodies. The song is serpentine and enters in a vortex of phrases and rhythms.
Delve Into The Past is the most complex number of the album as it oscillates in fast and reverberant black/death/thrash (like a free Jazz of metal hehehe) and truly intimate parts which are calmer with a bass solo and a strangest time signature in the middle session.
Untrodden Corridors Of Hades is another classic of Hellenic Black Metal and of Black Metal in general. If you want to know a little bit about the history of the style, let the Norwegian bands (which I adore) aside and dig into bands like Varathron. You’ll learn a lot. Or leave the truest kvlt to the strongest ones!
Untrodden Corridors Of Hades is out now on Agonia Records.
(Daniel “Roderick” Death)