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Valosta Varjoon – Das Flammenmeer

Valosta Varjoon
Das Flammenmeer
by Gary Hernandez at 08 April 2021, 5:32 PM

VALOSTA VARJOON is a Black Metal duo out of Bavaria, Germany. The band is amongst a trio of projects from multi-instrumentalist V.V. (COSMIC BURIAL, NACHTIG). Since 2018, VALOSTA VARJOON has been a duo with Sturmwolf on guitars and V.V. covering vocals and all other instruments. While the other two projects are Atmospheric Black Metal, VALSOSTA VARJOON (trans: from the light into the shadow) takes a minimalistic approach, leaning on repetitive, simplistic riffs and basic arrangements. When I say simple, I mean a fist full of chords played with little variation. There are, of course, a few exceptions — these being the highlights of the album.

The band has two splits and two full-length albums to their credit, including “Das Flammenmeer” (trans: the sea of flames), which was released March 21, 2021 on Purity Through Fire. The album spans seven full tracks, each extending between six to nine minutes. So, longish tracks, which is a good thing. Typically, the longer the track, the more soundscape for the band to explore themes and variations of themes. With “Das Flammenmeer,” however, that’s not the case. There’s very little progression to the pieces, which leads to some tedium. And when the arrangements do shift, it’s usually too late.

Most Black Metal I’ve experienced is dark, evil, and aggressive. Again, not the case here. This album comes across as surprisingly bright and optimistic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does defy some common expectations. If you come to the album looking to find some darkness to soak in or to rail against, you might be disappointed to find yourself walking away feeling uplifted and punchy. Again, not a bad thing, just a thing.

With that said, my favorite tracks are “Gspusi” for the breakdown at around the 6:20 mark; “Die Dunklen Reiter” (trans: the dark riders) for its melodic, tremolo solo at around the two-minute mark; and “Unbekannte Wege” (trans: unknown ways) which is one of the more multifaceted tunes, though the variation doesn’t kick in until the post five minutes.

If you’re looking for innovative, dark Black Metal, this probably isn’t your stop. If you’re into plain riffs stitched across unassuming arrangements and adorned with Black Metal accoutrements, well, here you are. Taken amongst the backdrop of other V.V. projects, VALOSTA VARJOON’s “Das Flammenmeer” adds some interesting contrast. As a standalone piece of work, not so much.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Das Flammenmeer
2.  Abschaum
3.  Ruinen
4.  Gspusi
5.  Die Dunklen Reiter
6.  Unbekannte Wege
7.  Der Krähentisch
Lineup:
V. V. – Music, programming, vocals
Sturmwolf – Guitars, bass
Record Label: Purity Through Fire
     


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