VARATHRON are set to unleash their 6th studio album ‘Patriarchs Of Evil’ onto the unsuspecting masses on 23rd April 2018 via Agonia Records. VARATHRON were at the forefront of the Hellenic Black Metal scene in the early nineties and released their seminal debut album ‘His Majesty At The Swamp’ which is a classic of the scene (along with ROTTING CHRIST ‘Thy Mighty Contract’ & NECROMANTIA ‘Scarlet Evil Witching Black’…and I highly recommend you check out all three releases!!!) Hellenic Black Metal was different to the Second Wave Of Black Metal (MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, EMPEROR, IMMORTAL, SATYRICON etc) as they infused the raw sound of the first wave bands black metal bands (BATHORY, HELLHAMMER, VENOM, CELTIC FROST) with more traditional metal riffing, mid tempo pacing and folk elements. This created a very atmospheric warm sounding version of black metal that makes you feel more like your next to the Mediterranean Sea than in a snow encased forest in Scandinavia.
VARATHRON never seem to have got the appreciation they deserve from the Black Metal scene and with a career spanning 30 years have they been criminally overlooked or have they stayed a true kvlt band? Well all I can say is that ‘Patriarchs Of Evil’ feels like a true predecessor to ‘His Majesty At The Swamp’, I might not have heard much since the debut release (except the follow-up album ‘Walpurgisnacht’ which is also very enjoyable). VARATHRON has returned/stayed true to their Hellenic Black Metal roots while expanding the sound to incorporate the ever-changing landscape of metal. This release has everything you would expect from a Hellenic Black Metal release, although the root of the sound is a bleak harsh rawness associated with Black Metal. The keyboards and melodic passages accentuate the overall sound and the use of traditional/thrash metal riffs align perfectly with the rest of the aural landscape VARATHRON have created and bring an eerie warmth and gothic romantic feel to the underlying bleakness. The songs transition beautifully from a full-out cacophonous assault on the senses to a more Stygian embracing tranquility with such effortless ease its majestic.
The ‘Patriarchs Of Evil’ is eight tracks of mesmerizing, epic, blasphemous dark hymns that will soothe the blackest of souls and VARATHRON have re-established themselves as one of the forefathers of the Hellenic Black Metal scene.
SCORE – 8/10
02. Into the Absurd
03. Luciferian Mystical Awakening
04. Saturnian Sect
05. Remnants of the Dark Testament
06. Hellwitch (Witches Gathering)
07. Orgasmic Nightmares of the Arch Desecrator
08. Ouroboros Dweller (The Dweller of Barathrum)
23rd April 2018