13 Aug 2021 - Thorsten
Progressive Classic Metal | Release date: 11 Jun 2021
Italy – a true treasure chest of heavy music with a pinch of classic Metal. Varego play exactly this kind of music: Progressive Heavy Metal with an ear for the classics and a heart for harmonies and melodies.
The band, that is now a trio after the departure of second guitar player Gerolamo Lucisano, shows how well-versed they are in everything heavy: from Stoner to Progressive Rock and even a few Death Metal hints all can be found on their self-titled fourth full-length album, independently released on June 11th. The riffs and licks provided by now-lone axe-man Alberto Pozzo are surely the focal point of the songs as it should be with such songs.
The record begins with a call for attention in the form of a siren ringing and calling in the new era and simultaneously opening ”Tunnel” that has a few near-industrial chopped-off guitar parts accompanied by a mixture of clean vocals and some regurgitating Death Metal vocals which seems a bit like some “call and response” vocals before the riff flows together and the clean vocals take over completely. ”Limbo” is the uptempo-song with a thunderous riff going alongside some lyrics channeling their inner Andrew Wood (Mother Love Bone) via a classic Heavy Metal “singer”. The third track ”Death” is one of the centerpieces of the record with a melodic intro and some smooth drums laying down an atmospheric element onto which the bass then paints a few blacks and grays. Their approach to the topic is a multi-dimensional one: first of all, there’s the tragic aspect of death, close accompanied by the deep sorrow following suicide. However, the band also looks at the middle between both ideas – that death can be seen as a place of peace. A peace that we are all searching all our lives long, and a topic that can either drive you mad or inspire you to use your time well. According to the band, the suicide of Chris Cornell was a huge inspiration for this track. They tend towards seeing death as a ”stimulus to think that life should be lived fully and to the end. Because it is worth it, in every sense” (as singer and bassist Davide explained).
That the band also likes a bit of Stoner Rock becomes clear, when listening to the fuzzy fringes of the guitars in ”Needles” which have been adequately set into the focus by producer/mixing and mastering engineer Mattia Cominotto. The seventh track ”Raptus (Un Passo E Muori)” is the second central piece of the record, not only because it is sung in Italian but also because it shows the melancholic, Grunge-infused side of the band best. The track sounds a bit like a concoction of equal parts Soundgarden and Mother Love Bone when it comes to the vocals but also like a cross of Alice in Chains and Kyuss when talking about the song structure. The topic of the song (roughly translated to “Rape (A deed and a Dying)”) one easily recognizes the death-topic from above, but this not seen from the self-chosen angle of suicide, but from the angle of inflicted death as a consequence of such a violent act.
The record is a new era for Varego and they open up a few ideas that should really be reflected on – and some of their songs are adequately well-construed. That there are a few tracks on this record which seem like something heard before is not a catastrophe, because, seen from another perspective, the band is also able to evoke the comparisons to those big bands mentioned above. Something not everybody is able to do!