Vardan – Funeral Night and Majestic Flames


Vardan has a lot of albums out there, a lot. While the band has been around since ’97 there wasn’t a release until ’07. Since then he seems to have hit his stride, with albums coming out an impressive clip. Most of the time, when I see bands with that many releases in such a short amount of time they all sound exactly alike and they have shoddy production.

Thankfully Vardan avoids this unfortunate trope. This is the second album of Vardan’s I’ve listened to and each of them have a similar but very distinctive sound. Funeral Night and Majestic Flames is a cross between the old 90s black metal of Norway and Finland and the droning black metal of the one-man scene in the US.

The vocals remind me of Gollum, not for the Peter Jackson films but the old, Rankins/Bass cartoon from the 70s; the wheezy, nasally, frog croaking madness just bubbles and froths through the music, the perfect counterpoint to the grainy distortion and raspy guitars. Despite the massive amount of drone and ambient music on the album, there are still discernable melodies, distinct to each song. They aren’t simple riffs played over and over again that have no connection to each other, Vardan is smart enough not to play the album with the rock album mentality of verse/chorus/bridge. He plays a more classical style with an underlying theme and motifs throughout the album, call back riffs that tie the whole thing together.

There’s a beauty to the album but it’s not readily apparent. The sound is grimy and nasty but the way the entire album works together to form a single cohesive thought is amazing, therein lies the beauty of an album such as this.

He may produce albums at a lightening pace but he has managed to make each one a distinct, unique piece of art (though that art is nasty and decrepit and vile).



Listen and support!

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