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Varathron - Black Arts Lead to Everlasting Sins (split with Necromantia)
Review: Slower than most black metal Varathron moves like holes in the cloud cover of a full sky which split and rejoin to form wider gaps, leaving spaces for imagination only. Evaporating structure leaves implications of greater order, through gaps which are the process of a larger entity forming. This cycle, its demonic lyricism and the the underwater guitar sound contribute to this EP an aura of mysticism worthy of the title of their first album.
Complexity does not occur in turbulent bursts of riffing but in the tasteful introduction of themes and intensity of harmonic variation used to direct their resolutions. These old style metal riffs move to a doomish beat that almost sleepwalks right over you, although it and the riffs are simple structural elements that help build an atmosphere but are inscrutable on their own. Heavy use of melodic lead playing for structure is reminiscent of the more explosive death metal bands like Suffocation, but riff hierarchy points toward NWOBHM and other epic metal adventures being played with a black metal technique so precise that its integration is natural and undisturbing to the musical sense of order from chaos that is found here.
Although this work has its great profundities, even greater things lie ahead than many of these Slayer-influenced "early works." Guitar solos are tonal and tuneful while sparsely placed within harmonic topography for augmentative spatial development. Voice of darkness whispers the hoarse violence of feral perception over the strumming chant of the guitars, sending a counter-rhythmic shivering of message through the obscurity. Dark clamping rhythms move in the background from potential to fulfilment to nihilism, a vacant world revealed to a motionless dark eye. The unending battle of this music is the beauty in its sense of the obscurity of potential variation, even as found in vaguely swampy doom metal wrapped in the upward transcendental aesthetic of mystical black metal.