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lunedì 9 novembre 2020

Varde - Fedraminne

#FOR FANS OF: Black Folk
The Norwegian trio Varde was founded three years ago by musicians with, at least for two of them, a previous background in the metal scene, being especially linked to the black metal scene in Norway. I especially think to Nord, currently involved in the return of the excellent Russian band Tvangeste. In its short existence the band has been quite active releasing two singles, one promising EP and the recently debut album 'Fedraminne', which has been released by the always reliable label Nordvis Produktion.

Varde’s core sound is firmly rooted in the black metal genre, though the Norwegian folklore has a primordial influence both in its lyrics and the music itself. Moreover, the band has not fear to introduce some unusual influences which enrich its music. The debut album 'Fedraminne' is a mature evolution of those ideas, which have been represented in eight songs, with a quite interesting degree of variety. This remarkable diversity may surprise the unprepared listener in certain moments. Varde’s style has a raw nature in its heaviest moments, with some powerful riffs and a remarkable vocal performance with some vicious screams. Anyway, we will taste through the album a combination of influences and approaches, both in the vocal department with the introduction of different types of clean vocals and rhythmically with the introduction of different arrangements. The evocative opening track, "Kystbillede del I" is a nice first example of it, with an excellent mixture of delicate keys, great riffs and a different range of vocals. We can also find more straightforward tracks like "Halvdan Svarte" or the more extreme one "Forbundet", which show Varde’s rawest face, with a high dose of aggression in the later one. The more surprising homonymous song shows in contrast the most experimental side of Varde, where we can find acoustic guitars, saxophone leads and folk influenced clean vocals, which create a totally different composition. Surprises don´t end here as a song like "Skuld" could confuse us with its industrial and martial sound, bringing us back those industrial black metal influences. The track itself is a good piece, though I must admit it may sound a little bit out of place in comparison with the general tone and conceptual background of the album. The closer song, "Kystbillede del II", is a nice summary of the album, combining atmospheric touches, experimental details and a more blackish and aggressive second half. In this final section both influences converge lead by ferocious vocals and a faster pace, until the rhythm decreases and the initial experimental and quiet introduction returns, making this song a remarkable way of ending this debut album.

All in all, 'Fedraminne' is a good work with some truly interesting and even genuinely surprising moments, which make the listener be reasonably excited with every song that comes next. This is always good when the quality is high and in general terms, Varde has created a fine release, which should help them to receive some attention from the scene. (Alain González Artola)

(Nordvis Produktion - 2020)
Score: 76