I sometimes play fast and loose with that “Shades of Black” title, but this time it genuinely fits the music I’ve collected here. The song streams represent many different shades and phases of black metal, and regardless of your preferences within the genre, I suspect you will find something to like before you reach the end. Of course, I like all of it.
The long-running Greek black metal band Varathron will be releasing their fifth album, Untrodden Corridors of Hades, later this fall. It comes five years after their last full-length, but based on the strength of the new album’s first advance track, this is one of those cases where I’m inclined to say, “It was worth the wait!”
“Realm of the Obscure” is thoroughly galvanizing, a non-stop rush of multi-faceted riffs that writhe like serpents, stab like knives, and hammer like mallet blows. The acrobatic and often pyrotechnic drumwork is equally varied and matches up beautifully with the varied movements of this long song, and the vocals are thoroughly ravenous. It’s the kind of music that’s voracious and malignant but with a highly seductive melody and an aura of imperial might. Really excellent.