In the Dark AloneReview by Metallattorney. He is the law.
As a metalhead, I try to immerse myself in as many different types of metal as I can. I find there are styles I like more than others of course, but I usually try a little bit of everything. One style that I have done only minimal exploration of is depressive black metal. I have heard Xasthur, Leviathan, Silencer, and a few others, but that's really about as far as I have gone. Most of it is a little tedious to listen to, long and very slow songs without a lot of direction. So I was a little reluctant to look into Vardan when the first song started.
Vardan is a one-man black metal band from Italy lead by Vardan, of course. This is as basic as black metal gets, minimalist riffs which are typically very slow, drums doing little more than keeping time, and tortured wailing vocals. The songs are quite long, with the shortest being just over six minutes. Vardan does do a decent job at changing up the riffs to keep things from becoming too monotonous. There are only five songs so it makes the length of each song a little more bearable.
Vardan is not, as it turns out, a depressive black metal act, despite the extremely slow-moving opening track. He does slow things down frequently and there is a little bit of depressive influences in the music, but he also throws in the occasional faster-paced riff just to keep things a little more interesting.
Ultimately this is probably a little too raw and simple for me. I like my black metal to have a little more going on than a couple of endlessly repeating riffs. I could see being able to listen to this in the dark alone, but it is not something that would have frequent playbacks in it.
I give this album 3 out of 5 stars.