Valosta Varjoon hail from Bavaria, Germany. Apart from a demo and a couple of split releases this band, that sports a Finnish name, hasn’t released any full length. Until now, that is. Purity Through Fire must have noticed their potential and an album saw the daylight.
The “Oberpfälzer Wald” itself, is a mountainous area in Bavaria, along the border with the Czech Republic. The opening track begins with a rather folk-like hilarious and sarcastic fanfare theme, before their Black Metal music is revealed. Valosta Varjoon perform this kind of rural, angst-ridden melancholic dystopian type of Black Metal, with coarse maniacal vocals emerging from the depths of darkness desperately crying out in agony. The music itself is quite solid, boasting a hard drum sound ,an organic bass and filled with swirling guitars. The entire album radiates a kind of barren, unpleasant misanthropic, depressive urban feeling, not unlike bands such as Lifelover or Shining, although Valosta Varjoon are way more aggressive in nature, mainly because of the tormented vocal style.
I find it a rather potent mixture of raw DSBM and atmospheric, grim German Black Metal. Guitars are raw and prominent in the mix and at times very emotional in a cold, suicidal way. Quite unique, this musical approach. Most of the songs are fast (no blast beats nor high velocity Black Metal, though) to mid-paced. What carries the rhythm section and the ghoulish vocals are the wealth of these guitar riffs, mostly composed out of tight and basic tremelo picked fills – but that seems to do the trick quite here.
In short: “Oberpfälzer Wald” paints a sarcastic, grim and desolate landscape, bordering on DSBM, yet remaining a firmly linear type of basic Black Metal.
Is it yet another average semi depressive German Black Metal album? Not at all: rest assured – this isn’t one of those typical easy-to-listen-to Black Metal albums either. I suggest you emerge yourself in this cesspool of misery and pain and decide for yourself. Personally I do hope that the album will draw the attention of other Black Metal fans and not just those who crave DSBM.
The album gets my thumbs up and marks an impressive Black Metal debut album for the band. (LV)