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Vardan – No Exit from the Forest

No Exit from the Forest
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 October 2022, 1:49 PM

One-man Black Metal band VARDAN formed in Italy in 1997, and Vardan has been quite the prolific songwriter, because this new album is their 34st release…say it with me again, album number 34. It has five self-titled tracks, divided into parts. “No Exit from the Forest Pt. 1” is the first song. Some playful tones appear in the opening, followed by heavy thuds in the drums. The forest is alive at night with pixies, but they are owned by a terrible creature who lurks in the shadows, signified by the scratchy harsh vocals.

“No Exit from the Forest Pt. 2” is twice as long as the previous song, but with a continuation of the sound. The vocals are short little screams, creeping up from the darkness in the part of the forest that isn’t often visited. Closing in at the half-way mark, a little more sonority comes in, mostly in the background. “No Exit from the Forest Pt. 3” features a bit more sound, but it still bears a similar pattern. The vocals are more pronounced, sounding more like tortured pleas. Those odd sounding bells however still occupy much of the song.

“No Exit from the Forest Pt. 4” has a similar, slow grinding pace, with those eerie bells again and vocals arising a bit like the previous song. So far, this album is underwhelming due to the repetitiveness. “No Exit from the Forest Pt. 5” closes the album. It’s the first song with a shift in sound. Piano notes accompany the tortured screams, and the guitars are more pronounced. There is also an ambient pause close to the half-way mark with bass notes. Overall, this wasn’t a bad album, and had some decent change of pace features that other Black Metal albums don’t. But, too many of the songs sounded similar in the end, and this could have been one long track without the divisions.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 3
Memorability: 2
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. No Exit from the Forest Pt. 1
2. No Exit from the Forest Pt. 2
3. No Exit from the Forest Pt. 3
4. No Exit from the Forest Pt. 4
5. No Exit from the Forest Pt. 5
Vardan – All instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Moribund Records


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