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Vardan - ...Dreaming ...Living My Funeral

...Dreaming ...Living My Funeral
by Salvador Aguinaga II at 23 December 2013, 2:34 AM

“Living My Funeral” seems to be a misleading title. I listened fully engrossed in the music but I cannot relate what I’m listening to the title. Thus I feel Vardan is using some sort of trickery or I simply cannot accommodate his method of thinking into my own. Therefore, I’m physically representing my approval of “Living My Funeral” without fully grasping why. But when the interlude comes into play, I finally understand. I’m introduced to this soft melancholic instrumentation that opens all functionality of my mind. The sound is like a depressive overview of your life while staring into the night across the horizon of the ocean. It’s refreshing because you realize the reality of where you’ve been but also wistful because where you haven’t been. It’s truly an aquatic experience like no other. It’s accompanied by the bass looming over you like the Grim Reaper’s shadow. The bass interjects in the right places slowly taking you to the end of your life.

The intro to “Wandering Spirit” is excellent. The guitar adds this distortion effect that suits the music well. The vocals, too, sound a bit off balanced but perfect for this track. Then, everything hits a tangent. There, similar to “Living My Funeral”, you get a tasty and catchy bass lick followed by unidentifiable screams somewhat hidden in the distortion’s background. That, in turn, makes it believable that spirits do in fact exist. They are hostile spirits screaming in agony. It further envelopes the thought and genius behind Vardan’s metaphysical presentation.

“…Dreaming (My End)” is a bit different from the previous tracks thus far. “Living My Funeral” and “Wandering Spirit” both built energy into something grand and often used strategic but simple means in doing so. “…Dreaming (My End)” derives more on the Atmospheric Black Metal side of things. It’s encapsulated in a deep fog, literally. The distortion of sound serves as the catalyst of said description. The whole track is in equal terms within itself. The approach is different but it seems like a semi-dramatic shift. The first two tracks warmed up to the album’s direction but then suddenly introduced a different tactic. It’s not bad by any means but it subverted the flow or formula the album prescribed (I mean that in a minimalistic way).

Ah, for “Cold Way to Exist” the former formula returns. It’s consistent throughout and a terrific closure to the “…Dreaming …Living My Funeral”. It’s dreary almost like bringing your subconscious into light and your actual manifested self into a void of nothingness. I really enjoyed the array of ranges in which the album was recorded. It adds layers and encases the thoughts and emotions as it transitions between songs (i.e. the hissing effect in “Wandering Spirit”). The formula for tracks 1 and 2 get predictable as you proceed to the final track. Essentially, you stay in area 1 for a while, cross a bridge (i.e. interlude) to arrive at area 2. It works great but after a few repeated instances it causes predictability which causes a bit of mundane structuring. Track 3, “…Dreaming (My End)”, however, is like a forest in a fog. There are no predetermined ways to arrive at a certain point. Sure there’s confusion but that’s the beauty of life.

I feel “…Dreaming …Living My Funeral” is a test of character. Not exactly whether you’re a bad or decent human being, more like the inner workings of your life and if it eventually sums to have any meaning. Just when you’re sure what you want, dreams provide an alternate vision.

4 Star Rating

1. Living My Funeral
2. Wandering Spirit
3. …Dreaming (My End)
4. Cold Way to Exist
Vardan – All instruments
Record Label: Moribund Cult Records


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