12 Sep 2023 - Lucia
Atmospheric Black Metal | Blackgaze | These Hands Melt (Italy) | Release date: 31 Mar 2023 | Favorite song: Воск (Wax)
This year has brought great releases. Such is the case of Varhara’s Пустоцвет (Voidflower). The name of this album fits it so perfectly, as it is an accurate description of the sonic journey on which we’re about to embark. From its start, Пустоцвет provides almost a trance-like atmosphere, where they effortlessly have a slow start where layers of sound keep on being added in a way to ease the transition into the heavy and beautiful parts of each song.
Varhara is a four-piece Atmospheric Black Metal and Blackgaze band from St. Petersburg, Russia. Their sound positions them right alongside Olhava and Рожь. Пустоцвет is a complete change from the sound of their first album, Осы. I feel that in this album, even though the sound has changed, it has evolved and matured, going into the dreamy and dark atmospheres within Black Metal and blending and shaping them into their current sound.
Now that we’ve got a brief introduction on who they are, let’s get back to their album. One thing that, in my opinion, makes an album, is the emotion that it conveys and that is transmitted to the listener. Sorrow, heaviness, darkness and brief moments of hope are palpable within each song; it allows you to escape reality even if it is just for the duration of the album.
When talking about the layers this album provides, it starts very clean and then the moment comes when those heavy chords pierce into the calm and take you into those heavy and dark moments. Taking my favourite song from this album as an example, “Воск” has a very clean almost “dew like” sound at the start, then all the instruments come in at the exact time breaking that moment of tranquility. Once the singing starts, it is almost like a lament that comes into a halt, allowing it to compose itself for a moment of respite and comfort, just to take the listener into that moment of intensity. This is exactly what being taken into a trip and back into the void sounds like. From the first listen to Пустоцвет, the listener will be taken by the emotional soundscape it provides and it will not disappoint.
Lyrically, the record gives a glimpse into the heaviness and darkness that goes perfectly with the music. Those words cut deep and hit hard, like crashing onto asphalt. It provides an understanding of the bleakness and sorrow that might have inspired them. Such is the case with the opening track on this album called “Ветер” (Wind) “Again, my house is baptised with ashes, I’m just a guest in it. About whom? Rivers of your tears. I can only hear it roaring.” This is just a sample of the lyrical heaviness that this album contains, that is beautifully carried by the evolving sound of the music.
All I can say after all of this is that Varhara is one of those bands from whom I am waiting to see what they will bring next, and I’m curious about how their sound will grow and evolve. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next and definitely will keep an eye on them.