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Varmia – Bal Lada Award winner

Bal Lada
by Will Travers at 07 March 2021, 3:21 PM

Poland and Black Metal go hand in hand, as much as the powers that be within the country are against it, seriously just look at the nonsense surrounding NERGAL and tell me that isn’t ridiculous. However, we aren’t here to ramble on about the current state of affairs between the Metal community and the government machine, no. Today is a celebration of new music and new life with VARMIA and their most recent release “Bal Lada”.

The artwork… is… disturbing, though provoking but most of all it grabs your eye and stands out, I’d say that is its job done! “Woanie” opens the proceedings… Close your eyes and imagine the scene, deep in the dark forest you see a glow from a fire ahead of you; before you know it, you are there with them in the full throes of their ritual, I am on the edge of my seat and cannot wait to see where we go from here. “Bielmo” comes through with more stereotypical Black Metal stylings, deep growls and emotive strained vocals fill the tracking; but there is a bit more to it than just aggressive music and a heavy and pounding beat. There are subtle additions into the background, parts that you wouldn’t normally associate with the genre, and honestly this is a breath of fresh air!

Let’s take a look at those more unusual additions to the music. Now, I am absolutely no aficionadoa on either the didgeridoo, nor the goat horn… But I must admit that they caught my eye when I saw that they had been utilized in the recordings. I believe the first exposure to the goat horn came in “Upperan” and it came to great effect; it just added this dimension that I had never seen before and created a whole different dynamic within the music. It was enchanting… Back to that ritualistic feel once more! Wait out for the didgeridoo

The musical intelligence displayed throughout is utterly immense, each track is its own journey and that is beautifully portrayed in the changing tempos and atmospheres that develop throughout each, the best example here though, I thought, was “Zari Deiwas”. It simply carried me along with its wave after wave of aural ecstasy and I could not get enough of it! Let’s explore something a little bit insane all together. Let’s take the best of Folk Metal, and combine it with the Black Metal influences that we have came across so far, yes that includes the didgeridoo, and what you would have is “O”. No words can do justice to this absolute masterpiece, so I implore you reader, put on your headphones and just be transported across the different plains of consciousness.

I don’t want to have all the fun here, but needless to say listening to this album I had a fantastic time, and I continued having a great time each and every time I listened to it afterwards. There is something special going on in Poland and VARMIA will be the ones to watch going forwards, bravo all involved!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Woanie
2. Bielmo
3. Ruja
4. Upperan
5. Nazachód
6. Zari Deiwas
7. O
8. Głody
9. Ten Blask Co Po Nim Śmierć
10. Koniec
Lasota – Vocals/Guitars
Piotr – Vocals/Percussion/Goat Horn/Didgeridoo
Aleksander Chodkowski – Vocals/Bass
Michał Andrzejczyk – Drums
Record Label: M-Theory Music


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