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Vargrike – A Vereségben

vargrike – a vereségben


Not long after the release of their debut EP, the American/Hungarian duo of Vargrike commenced work on their first full-length album. What exactly determines the line between an EP and full-length is a bit arbitrary as both releases consist of four tracks comprising 35 minutes of music, but regardless of semantics, that full-length was finished late 2022 bearing the title ‘A Vereségben’, Hungarian for ‘In Defeat’.

In contrast to the nearly equal length in songs on the band’s ‘Útkereső’ EP, ‘A Vereségben’ opens with the rather short acoustic intro with spoken text ‘Magamhoz’ (‘To Myself’). The remaining tracks are considerably lengthier, with ‘A Meztelen Valóság’ (‘The Naked Reality’) falling on the short side with its duration of “only” seven and a half minutes. These long-spun songs are once again used to showcase the band’s love for atmospheric Black Metal tracks with piercing vocals that take the time to settle the melodies in your mind while slight variations in drum pace, or swelling keyboards change the perception ever so slightly. Compared to the ‘Útkereső’ EP, the guitar melodies tend to develop just a little bit more, a welcome change in a track like ‘Éjsakai Séta’ (which means something like ‘Night Walk’) that clocks in well over the 12-minute mark. Where the previous recording seemed to have a little bit more sections with rattling double bass and tempo changes, this is a little bit more subdued on ‘A Vereségben’, which more relies on the expanding variations in the guitar riffs. This slightly different approach, together with the increased song length, can at times make the songs feel slightly too long, but not to an extent where it’s bothersome. On the contrary, it feels that ‘A Vereségben’ is a step up from the EP, which is particularly well-reflected in the closing track ‘Állóvíz’ (which translates to ‘Standing Water’), a song that besides the melodic and atmospheric elements that are featured throughout the album also contains more chugging sections, the most intense vocal delivery, fuller and fiercer drums, and a beautiful solo. All in all, ‘A Vereségben’ feels like an improvement over the EP, and a sign of promise for the future of Vargrike.


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