Varmia
Prolog EP

The forests of Eastern Europe hold secrets, the landscape wears the scars of battle like badges of honor; trenches and bunkers dot the countryside where years of war have done their worst. This region has contributed numerous bands to the Pagan Black Metal scene over the years, they stand out for their use of traditional instruments (in this case the following were used: Tagelharpa, Didgeridoo, Goat Horn, wooden tube, and Krivula) to maximize the impact of the music and usually, the vocals are done in the native language.

Occasionally a vocal technique called the “whitevoice” soaring, clean vocals was utilized in ancient East-Central European rituals. Don’t get me wrong though because this isn’t some Pagan Black Metal opera, far from it. At its core Prolog is a raging slab of Polish Black Metal, seething and pulsing with the history of ages.

“Oddal” is a lurching, siege of power, acting as a ritual within itself at the 3.20-mark thrashy as fuck and a furious blast of Heathen fury. At 4.25 its animalistic core shows as the song races towards its stunning end. “Gorzkie Fale” is the belly of the beast, a culmination of vitriolic, bestial… glorious Heathenistic energy. Being a three-track EP, it makes it hard to pick a favorite track, this is because they flow together, and it works out perfectly because it bonds the album together like spiritual glue. “3.3” is the victory party, it comes in quiet like a specter from the mist; its arrival is boosted by acoustic guitars as well as traditional instruments.

Based on this album, I went back and got their first three albums Z Mar Twych, W Ciele Nie, and Bal Lada. For people who enjoy Nokturnal Mortum, Hate Forest, Enslaved, Falkenbach and Satyricon. Varmia has made a fantastic Pagan Black Metal record, even though it’s an EP it bulges with the size of a full-length. I highly recommend this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
February 10th, 2023

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