FFO: Furia, Drudkh, Eoront, In Twilight’s Embrace, Batushka
It has been an interesting few years for Varmia, since forming in 2016, the band have been very busy promoting their brand of black/folk metal focused upon the historical region of Poland to which the band take their name. It is therefore no surprise that this year has Varmia returning with their latest offering ‘Bal Lada’.
For Varmia, the formula isn’t broke, it works very and well and therefore does not need fixing. ‘Bal Lada’ is the sound of a band sticking wholeheartedly to their guns, they know what they are after and how to get it. This means that all the elements of what we have come to expect and love from Varmia are there, Pagan lyrics, black metal overtones, folk nuances and wonderful arrangements of Balkan ethnic instruments such as the tagelharpa, goat horn, krivula and wood tuba. In truth, it is the inclusion of these instruments which really do make this album and without them, it would be quite generic. Because of these instruments, it is their arrangements within ‘Bal Lada’ that make this record stand out with tracks such as ‘Bielmo’, ‘Zari Deiwas’ and ‘Koniec’ roaring with the primal bestial vigour needed to succeed within this genre, having all the appeal of Furia, Drudkh and In Twilight’s Embrace.
‘Bal Lada’ is the sound of a band on a roll; the album may not set the world on fire, but there is enough here for the converted Varmia fan to enjoy and more than enough to bring in new fans eager to get on board with black/folk metal. ‘Bal Lada’ keeps it real and keeps it cult, so raise those horns, it’s bloody worth it.