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This is Vari’s first demo. Vari is an Estonian band composed of two members: Masq (guitars/science/vocals) and Dagaith (guitars/vocals). The album is in majority a melodic black metal album, but has some melodic death moments. The production is great for a demo, the vocals are also very nice, not too raw and not to clean, and the guitar riffs aren’t complex or anything but do a good job creating a melody. What is particularly unusual is that there is no bass or any drummer. The band had a bass player and a drummer for a while, but since things didn’t work out Masq and Dagaith decided to do without them and used a computer program for the drums and bass. Even though being a bit difficult to mix and master, Masq managed to create a great sound for this first demo album of the Estonian duet.

The album isn’t anything new, many bands have experienced and used this sound before, and nonetheless it is still appealing. The album is kind of divided, you have some songs that are very melodic, some that are less and the last song that is more raw black metal which makes it interesting and less irritating (I find that when an album is nothing but melodies it can get irritating). The melodies created by the program which sound, at times, like bells are gloomy, slow paced and repeated which lingers in your thoughts. The album starts off with Edasi Minevikku with a decreased volume and then commences in a heavier, more brutal rhythm. This song is determinant of the outcome of this album, with its enthralling melodies, aggressivity and the change between the fast and slow past, there is a dusky atmosphere at the same time of keeping the music aggressive and powerful. Then from the fourth to sixth songs, the melodies are less prominent and the last song, 11. Symphoonia, is very different and is my favourite. It’s raw with few symphonic parts and great vocals.

Overall this album is great, the fact that it is musically unstable renders it interesting to listen to and you won’t get tired quickly of the album. The guitar riffs have nothing special but are well played and go along very well with the songs. Not much to say on the lyrics, they are not in the booklet and I suppose that they are all sung in Estonian, which I don’t read or speak. The vocals and drumming are great. It’s a shame though that the drums were not really played though (I prefer when I real human plays the instrument, it’s part of the talent of a band), but if you do not know it, it’s great. And as for the bass, it’s quite inaudible. So I recommend this album to every melodic black metal lovers and I give it 85/100. Great demo!

- DarkDryad

Independent Release 2004
Melodic Black Metal

1. Edasi Minevikku
2. Meie Lugu
3. Saatus
4. Tulemaa Pojad
5. Mina-igavene
6. Manalateel
7. 11. Symfoonia
Total Playing Time: 32:54

Author: DarkDryad
Zine: Mansion of Metal

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