Review: “Prolog” by Varmia

Conceived in 2016 by composer Lasota, Varmia has long had a stylistic approach that fuses Black Metal with musical influences that pay tribute to the ancient Baltic tribes of the historical Warmia region of northern Poland, giving the songs the band create a distinctive Pagan Black Metal sound. Often recording in remote locations, the band have released a trio of albums from 2017’s ‘Z mar twych’ 2018’s ‘W ciele nie’ and 2021’s international release, ‘bal Lada’, their first collaborating with M-Theory Audio as.tjey gradually build their Empire.

A lesson in violent Pegan Black Metal from Poland, opening cut “Oddal” (or “Distance“) wastes no time in setting the standard for what is to come with harsh vocals and death growls battering the skull. The percussion is crisp and clean, rattling the cage with a sabre toothed grin, ethereal backing vocals and scandelus guitar work, full of darkness and dred. Trademark native influences creep in with the occasional nod to Amon Amarth in the bands heavier moments making this one both gripping and captivating from the very beginning. Those native influences and the desire to use traditional ethnic instrumentation of the Baltic Rites with pieces of tagelharpa, goat horn, wood tuba and krivula give the bands sound an Avant-Garde quality that gives cuts like “gorzkie fale” (or “Bitter Waves“) and eerie and haunting quality, especially when the drum fills take on a tribal style. Imagine if Imperial Triumphant conjured a cover of “Territory” by Sepultura and you might catch our drift. Tribal drums and acoustic guitars are the essence of “3“, a curious and almost instrumental piece with throat singing that sounds like a Pagan interpretation of the flamenco dance of the Spanish. That then builds into demonic sounding vocals before the cold winds chill the air and the nightmare is over but remember, Death is only the beginning because if these Pagan ghosts take your soul, they’ll haunt you until your unnatural end, such is the epic nature of this almost cinematically atmospheric offering [7.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Oddal
  2. Gorzkie Fale
  3. 3

Prolog” by Varmia is out 6th January 2023 via M-Theory Audio with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

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