(Agonia Records, 2014)
The Greek Black Metal scene enjoyed and deserved a lot of respect in the early- and mid-nineties, with bands like Necromantia, Rotting Christ, Kawir, and Zemial, with same members in many bands helping each other out.
The main man of Varathron, Necroabyssious, who has done a long career in the underground, has returned with about the same crew (of younger warriors) from the last album with him on this his latest offering.
The album starts with some good old Jewish mysticism in the form of “Kabalistic Invocation of Solomon”. Cool choirs bring atmosphere, and mystical percussives chime among the drums. Although lyrics are not available, it’s safe to say this is not the only occult theme on this album. There’s of course a certain Pagan Greek feeling dominating the atmosphere of the album from the beginning to the end.
The world of Varathron is mostly controlled by the low and mid-tempo jamming and quite doomish drum-beats, with blast-beats bringing the traditional second wave Black Metal feeling to the music. Melodic guitars remind of bands such as Rotting Christ, a very Greek thing of course. The riffs are also quite technical with their hooks and changes, with Folkish melodies here and there coming forth as well. Cool synths sometimes sound in the background to give epic feeling. The vocals are extremely traditional and cool, sometimes sounding like low screams, sometimes like high growls, with different variations in them. Every aspect of the music is performed very well.
The old Greek albums also had a good production thanks to George Zachraropoulos (Magus Wampyr Daoloth) and as a good continuation of that tradition this album has the quality Greek sound, with modern technology. In fact this is in every way a good example of quality Greek Black Metal 20 years after it’s golden age.
Each song has a special feeling and theme, which keeps the album interesting. This is the kind of album that was made in the nineties. If you were buying albums back then, you remember the “safe and sound Century Media” feeling, when buying certain records. This album is of that quality, with no huge surprises but still overall steady quality in everything the band offers. If you’re not familiar with the earlier work of Varathron, but are into bands like Rotting Christ, you should definitely check out this album, or take a listen just out of sheer respect for the work of Necroabyssious!
8/10 – Antti Mikonmäki