A new six-piece album for Varego, a band that is difficult to classify other than as stimulators of our brains. Born in 2009 on the edge of the empire, in the small town of Arenzano, ours made their debut in 2012 with their debut Tumultum, and then released Blindness Of The Sun in 2013, which saw the collaboration of Jarboe and Giovanni Sansone. Their new album is called Epoch, it is six tracks but it is not an ep. It is a multi-headed monster, a combination of air and music, of vibrations and situations, a multidimensional gateway between various worlds, and we do not know whether we are the flea or the acrobat. Here, everything sounds and resonates, the riffs are mixed with the voice of bassist-singer Davide Marcenaro, who improves considerably with each album. The genre is really hard to say, because in every track you know the start but the finish is unknown. Alpha Tauri, the first song has a very sweet opening riff, almost a lullaby with the sound of thunder in the distance, and then it starts, with great power, showing the faster, post-metal side of the band. The vocals chase each other like ghosts in an ancient castle, and the guitars grind out riffs, with crazed drums propping up the boundaries of the realms of madness. Alpha Tauri is somewhat programmatic for the rest of the record, and then changes about halfway through the song, to reveal one of the novelties of this record, namely an incredible melodic line, and with great ideas, truly original, with a strong new wave grunge aftertaste. It continues with Phantasma, which had been the first extract from this record, released some time ago by the band as a free download, opened by an incredible riff, which seems to come from another dimension, and then the sky falls to earth, with a progression and a crescendo of sounds that then return several times to the original riff, but each time it changes, advancing a few metres, towards a destination that is lost in a stellar fog. The third song is called Flying King, and has an anxiety-inducing intro, then starts with a double riff of guitars, Gero’s and Alberto’s, then opening with Davide’s voice and Simone’s great work on drums: this song has a concentric rhythm, which is a direct mutation of Varego‘s early work, and then ends with a mini jam. Then comes The Cosmic Done, a song introduced by a fantastic spoken word with multidimensional noises: the lyrics are taken from a novel by Evangelisti, it’s up to you to figure out which one. Varego have always been attracted and inspired by science fiction, but here with this song they make us feel it on our skin, the song has an incredible procession, rewriting the parameters of a certain type of metal, where there are many things, just listen to the sum of the instruments in this piece that is perhaps the true manifesto of the record. Swarms comes after the mammoth songs mentioned above, and at first listen it might not seem to live up to such power, instead it turns out to be one of the album’s strongest tracks, mainly due to the diversity compared to the other tracks, as this track could have been recorded by a band like Alice In Chains, with the line-up of the nineties. This really intense album closes with Dominion, a track that has great balance and shows Varego in a definitely different light, with a strong new wave aftertaste, without ever losing their main characteristics. One of Varego‘s greatest strengths, if not their greatest, is that they are instantly recognisable by their style, and their variety makes them unlike no-one else. A great and powerful record, well summed up in the cover art by Marco Castagnetto, which is always a plus. Planets, mysteries, cosmos and beyond, where man can only reach with his mind. Varego churns out their best album after a not certainly painless line-up change, but one that led the band to play in a certain way, and so Epoch was born. I don’t want to sound blasphemous, but a record like this is much more varied and interesting than Neurosis’ latest. Let’s go further. (M.Argo – MetalEyes 26/9/2016)
2016 – Argonauta Records
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