The Pitch: Folkvangr Records release the cassette version (limit 100 copies) of Z Mar Twych by Polish progressive black metal band Varmia. FFO Enslaved, Batushka, Downfall of Nur
What I Like: Lots of good elements coming together here from black, death, progressive, and also folk metal. This last piece comes through the most on the clean vocals, which often resemble early Enslaved albums like Eld and Blodhemn. But also like these albums, there are a few moments of actual folk instrumentation mixed in with the distortion. The harsh vocals favor high-pitched black metal snarls, but occasionally dip into a more deathy, Opeth vibe befitting of some of the proggier guitar hooks. At times I also pick up on some Taake vibes with the combined use of atmospheric and more focused approaches.
Critiques: I feel like the album loses some steam in the second half. This seems largely due to shifting focus away from the black metal elements to the folkier ones. This isn't to say that the latter songs aren't good; just that mixing up the harsher tracks more evenly throughout the album would have helped the flow imo.
The Verdict: A solid, eclectic album that successfully fuses many elements; even if the timing and execution of dynamics could use a little more finesse. I am happy to have been introduced to Varmia and hope to hear their next album come through even stronger.
Flight's Fav's: Wściekłość, Ptak, Gorej