Varmia – “W ciele nie” (Pagan Records)
Forget your big budget recordings, with 10 million takes until you get it right. Everyone should do what Polish Black Metallers, Varmia have done.
Set your gear up in a barn and record the majority of it live. And then record the vocals and ethnic instruments in the forest. Cool as fuck. And the talk of ethnic instruments and forest obviously give the game away that there’s a Heathen/Pagan slant going on here as well.
For the most part though, this is blasting Black Metal, ferocious and in your face, with the multi layered clean vocals adding a nice touch to calm things down a bit. And while I’m writing my review, the trees and hills that I can see from my window are being shrouded in fog, and that feels very fitting for this natural sounding album, that’s inspired by the wilderness.
And there is no other way to describe this album. It’s raw, it’s wild and the organic feel just hits you from the off. And I love the fact that this isn’t polished and its heart is exposed to all.
If the sound isn’t unique, it belongs to a very small circle of albums that have the same feel.
I know it’s only fair that the band gets most of the attention during a review, but I’d also like to give some credit to Pagan Records, who are still releasing quality music after 25+ years. Some of my favourite albums, by the likes of Profanum (their 1st couple of albums) and Lux Occulta’s Dionysos came via Pagan Records. And this album deserves to be held in the same high esteem as the labels earlier, classic, releases.
So great fucking album, and check out the labels back catalogue for a few gems.