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Vardan - Dark and Desolated March

Dark and Desolated March
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 21 September 2020, 12:13 PM

If there is a more prolific songwriter out there, I am not aware of one. Vardan has singlehandedly written 29 full-length albums. 29. Formed in 1997 and hailing from Italy, his latest effort titled “Dark and Desolated March” contains five tracks. “I” leads off the album. It opens with some atmosphere in the background, and then some vile vocal screams. It has a slow and lumbering pace, along with some bass guitar notes that echo. The song seems to go on to an endless time…to the end of the world.

“II” is a little shorter. It opens with a guitar riff that climbs up and down the scale. Those vocal screams continue. The sounds drops a little towards the mid-way mark, then comes back in full force. It’s a very harrowing song and album as a whole. “III” is over eight-minutes in length. It sounds like something that would come from the deep recesses of the universe. It takes a pause around the half-way mark, pulsating with these eerie tones. After a few minutes, it’s back to the original sound.

“IV” is another lengthy song, clocking in a close to eleven-minutes in length. It opens with more of that background atmosphere that is just so frightening. It has a slow and desolate pace, and it’s close to half-way before the screaming starts. Some additional instruments join in, before the pause. A different sound carries it to completion. “V” closes the album. It’s over nine-minutes in length. Some vocal chants mix in with the screams, creating an unusually vile sound. Those “bells” make another appearance, as well as the obligatory pause. Still, the music creates this world of cold nothingness.

You have to figure that Vardan has to be running low on ideas after 29 albums. That is the case ere. Although I liked the atmosphere he created, and the harrowing sound, the songs ran together and sounded too similar to one another. He obviously found a sound and stuck with it, but it made for too much repetition. Overall, just mediocre for me.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
Vardan – All instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Moribund Records


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