Review 2014 : Varathron – The Crimson Temple – English

Listen to Varathron‘s service.

Known as one of the most famous representatives of Black Metal in Greece, the band led since 1998 by Stefan Necroabyssious (vocals, Zaratus, Katavasia), joined by Achilleas C. (guitar, Aenaon, Katavasia), Haris (drums, Aenaon, No Hand Path), Sotiris (guitar, No Hand Path) and Stratos Kountouras (bass, Luna Obscura) announces for its 35th anniversary the release of The Crimson Temple, its seventh full-length, on Agonia Records.

The album kicks off with Ascension, a mysterious introduction quickly transformed into a ceremony where festive Folk elements mingle before letting Old School Black Metal’s fury reveal itself on Hegemony of Chaos. The raw vocal parts contribute to the aggressive atmosphere, slightly contrasted by the majestic sounds emanating from the heady leads and orchestrations, but the band also relies on a fairly rhythmic approach to keep us on our toes until Crypts in the Mist unfolds its coldness. The track continues to be dominated by devastating accelerations and cutting harmonics that perfectly match its bellicose mood, as on the impressive Cimmerian Priesthood, which plays with its different vocal parts to deliver a theatrical sound. The singer seems literally possessed during the most intense and enchanting riffs, and then the band follows up with Sinners of the Crimson Temple, with its strong Heavy Metal influences and more accessible keyboards and melodies. A highly unifying track, it takes advantage of its moderate pace to accelerate to the finish, followed by the energetic Immortalis Regnum Diaboli and its vindictive Thrash roots, which barely subside on the catchy choruses and mystical break. Rage returns to close the track, which gives way to To the Gods of Yore and its relatively slow but disquieting march, becoming increasingly heavy as it progresses. Darkness and coldness once again combine to make Shrouds of the Miasmic Winds a veritable avalanche of aggression, where the solid rhythmic underpins the razor-sharp leads to perfection. A few more ethereal dissonant passages allow the musicians to return with ever greater power before Swamp King adds slightly more playful sounds to its jerky riffs. We notice a surprising passage where a few words wander under a more modern veil, followed by a return to Pagan inspirations, then violence resurfaces to lead us to Constellation of the Archons, the last composition, where the battle is already raging before we even arrive, forcing the musicians to build a martial march filled with keyboards and epic leads, sometimes hypnotic, to close the album in the rules of art.

Varathron confirms that their talent is the secret of their longevity. Although anchored in its Old School roots, The Crimson Temple remains highly varied, even taking advantage of energetic or melodic influences to win us over.


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