Varmia - Bal Lada (2021)


Expanding their roster to include more interesting and diverse acts, M-Theory Audio brings us today the third full-length release of Poland’s Varmia, titled “Bal Lada”. Combining Black Metal with Folk/Pagan elements, this outfit has an early Enslaved vibe in their well-crafted and highly engaging music. For over 60 minutes the band blends a wide variety of elements on top of crafty guitars and a sinister atmosphere.

The folky opener “Woanie” reminds us of Enslaved’s less proggy days, while the band sets an enigmatic pace to things. We are super fans of catchy songs and the riffs in “Bielmo” have a nice progression, allowing the listener to fully immerse himself in the band’s melodic side. The band does not stay very mellow for long as the incisive “Ruja” pairs piercing guitars with crafty drums while keeping things heavy and engaging.

With a folkier edge, “Upperan”, “Zari Deiwas”, and “Nazachód” nicely introduce some wind instruments and lush vocal arrangements into the mix. While “O” has a certain Wardruna/Heilung vibe, our favorite song has to be the enigmatic “Ten blask co po nim śmierć” and its lush string instrument arrangements, that add a completely different dimension to the band’s expansive sound.

Overall, “Bal Lada” is one very interesting release that while it sounds too much like Enslaved at some points, has its own merits and good degree of originality. Varmia is a promising young band, and we will love to see how they evolve other time and refine/tweak their sound to be more unique to them. The band definitely has the musical chops, it is just a matter of fully finding their own identity and shining on their own.

Band: Varmia Album: Bal Lada

Label: M-Theory Audio

Release: March 12th, 2021

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Genre: Black/Folk Metal

Country: Poland

Rating: 89/100

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