Review: Valosta Varjoon – Das Flammenmeer

Valosta Varjoon, Finnish for ‘From the light into the shadow’, drew a complete blank in my head and mind, up until today I have never even heard about the band. Despite the origin of their name they do not hail from Finland, or even Scandinavia for that matter, as Valosta Varjoon, formed in 2016, is based in Bavaria, Germany. The band plays a type of black metal that is a perfect match with the lyrical themes: Cold and miserable. With a demo, two splits and a full-length under their belt already the duo, consisting of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist V.V and guitarist Sturmwolf, who joined the band in 2018, has proven to be quite active and productive. Proof that is underlined by the fact they are now ready to release their second full-length in two years. It’s called Das Flammenmeer and brings you close to an hour of black metal with a filthy edge spread over seven songs.

When the first moments of opener and title song Das Flammenmeer (Sea of flames) reach my eardrums I’m flabbergasted. Instead of coldly mixed, shrill, corrosive black metal, the sound of a marching band, distant in what seems to be a thunder storm, sounds. Not for long though as this merry music is abruptly interrupted by Valosta Varjoon’s true colors, the aforementioned (and expected) cold, at times raw, yet melodic black metal accompanied by some foul sounding vocals. There we go! Successor Abschaum (scum) is more of a different same, which, in this case, is a good thing. Who doesn’t want their black metal to be aggressively cold and harsh? Again the relentless drums, the flee floating guitar and bass lines and the raw, throaty screams that seem separated from everything else in the world. In fact, more of the different same is the reoccurring event here as it can pretty much be applied to all songs on this release. With the roots deeply buried in black metal, unmistakably leaving a very strong imprint on the songs, each track has an identity of its own. Apart from that, there’s room for every musical aspect, every single instrument outside the guitars, who are usually the most present anyway, gets its fifteen minutes of fame. Be it the drums in Der Krähentisch (the crows’ table), the bass in Gspusi (lover) or Die dunklen Reiter (The dark riders) or the growl in Das Flammenmeer. they all display their influence on Valosta Varjoon’s music.

The near hour Das Flammenmeer spans is over before you know it, as each great song is followed by an equally great successor. Though previously unknown to me and probably many others, to me Valosta Varjoon has definitely put themselves on my musical map. I for one will definitely keep an eye out for this band. And as if the music itself didn’t provide enough atmosphere by itself, the thin-ish, obscure production, resulting in a certain shrillness in the music, adds even more to the level of miserableness this album breathes. So if you’re in the mood for an hour of unadulterated, high-quality black metal, you have come to the right place. Just put this on.

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