Vardan - Nostalgia - Archive of Failures - Part 4
Moribund Records
Depressive Black Metal
3 songs (36'05")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Alex

To consider what can plausibly fit under the umbrella of black metal, of how vast the genre reaches out, compare the two albums I had to review this week. From blackened death war metal of Valdur to minimalistic Burzumic gloomy Vardan, the two have almost nothing in common, except reflecting on human population’s bleak emotions.

I don’t know what your day at the office looks like. Mine mainly consists of first creating chemistry, then turning it in plausible business. Vardan’s then must be churning out depressive music, one album after another. Can the man have time for anything else? Without having full statistics at my disposal I venture to say that Vardan is the most prolific entity in black metal, if not in the whole of metal. Consider the facts – the man put out 30 albums over the course of 10 years of existence, or something along these lines. So when I carry a lab notebook to my workplace, Vardan straps himself up with a noose. One never knows, when creating or listening to music like Nostalgia, it may come handy …

I do not quite exactly know whether Nostalgia is entirely new Vardan’s work, or a collection of previously unreleased material. What is known though that a sextology (6 albums bearing the same name) of albums came out as two parts, the latest Parts 4 through 6 encased with a special edition limited quantity wooden box, stuffed not only with three separate albums, but also with other Vardan memorabilia goodies. Collectors will rejoice, for sure. I am not positive I will have time to review all parts of Nostalgia, but here is a glimpse of what you can find in Part 4.

True to his previous credo Vardan remains minimalist, yet has lots to say. Riff after miserable riff he steps carefully through repeating notes sequence on IX. Diffuse guitars, not overbearing synth, Vardan’s vocals are totally inhuman howls and emanations. If there are lyrics (and the promo says there are), I can’t quite make anything out, and am probably not supposed to. All this Burzumian/Xasthurian well-produced wretchedness arrives at emptiness, but the main theme returns, first more rattling, but then dies out clean. X has a short Moonlight Sonata opening, but quickly becomes a total slow grind, Vardan’s cries the most wounded animal here. It is interesting when you try to strip out the slow turning circular saw slowly grinding through the flesh you can almost hear a ballroom dance, a minuet or sorts, but the distortion on X rules out all hope. XI may possess the cleanest forefront, but the fuzz is ever present, constantly lurking from behind. Grumbling sad howls and some acoustic guitars produce most melancholic moments, and shaker percussion is something different here as well. XI has a waltz rhythm, to a degree, but cleaner does not mean less sad for Vardan, so all 36+ minutes (and I suspect the whole Part 4 – 6 box) maintain the depressive disposition. Atmospheric, but inescapable, Vardan is as grey as the cover art suggests.

Killing Songs :
This is all one slow steady killing
Alex quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Vardan that we have reviewed:
Vardan - The Woods is my Coffin reviewed by Goat and quoted 65 / 100
Vardan - ...Dreaming ...Living My Funeral reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:04 am
View and Post comments