After a seven-year absence from the music industry and with many fans awaiting for their […]
By Katerina Kladisiou
May 8, 2005
Varathron - Crowsreign album cover

After a seven-year absence from the music industry and with many fans awaiting for their next record attempt, the Greek legends, Varathron, finally managed to create an album very close to their expectations. With a new lineup and many innovative elements in their music, Varathron present Crowsreign, maybe the most ambiguous album in their entire carreer.
16 years of existence and one of the greatest discographies of the underground Greek scene, Varathron is obviously one of the most legendary bands in Greece.
Their demos and records made their fans proud and with releases such as  the Procreation Of The Unaltered Evil demo or the split CD with Necromantia, Black Arts Lead To Everlasting Sin, they managed to present the underground scene to the whole world. For such a promising band it was sure from the beginning that it would be easy enough to find a record company. So, in 1993 Cyber Music Rec. released their debut album His Majesty In The Swamp, a masterpiece of darkness, a mystical and abysmal material. After many changes in the lineup of the band, in 1995 they released Walpurgisnacht and the mini-CD The Lament Of Gods in 1998. Their cover of Mercyful Fate's Nuns Have No Fun that was included in The Lament Of God will also be included in The Unholy Sounds Of The Demon Bells, a tribute album to M.F. with the participation of Acheron, Vital Remains, Dan Swano and others. The member changes were continued until Crowsreign, where the only founding member left is Stephan (Necroabyssious). But let's take a look inside Crowsreign.
The new lineup influenced Varathron's music, as it usually happens. Even though the material had been written by the previous lineup and had been exploited by the band now, the new members, Achilleas (bass & guitar) and Harris (drums) make their presence more obvious.
First of all in Crowsreign the mid-tempo parts are much more frequent than what we've been used to and sometimes this becomes a little bit boring and repetitive. However, the frequent alternations in the music and vocals remedy it enough, in order not to consider this as a disadvantage to the whole. So, more and intense keys than usual and a combination of some old stuff with new riffs are characterizing the new material of Varathron. Especially the keyboards seem to be a vital factor for the outcome. Instrumental songs and many melodic parts complete the musical part of the album. What one can notice is the frequent recitations alternated with up-tempo parts. This is quite new and characterizes the album. I would like to make a special comment on the greatest poem ever written in Greek, King of Asine by G. Seferis, the Greek Nobel awarded poet and the way Varathron managed to shape it. A twelve-minute song that includes everything. Recitations, slow melodies, up-tempo parts, thrilling keys, abysmal vocals...
The lyrics, in general, are very inspired. Crowsreign meaning the reign of the crow or the reign of darkness, the reign of Satan, is a concept. According to Stephan, in many ancient religions the face of the crow used to symbolize the evil spirit, or Satan. So, the time of his reign, his dominion is coming. The artwork is made by Seth, and is excellent like all his previous works are.
The long awaited new album of the Greek veterans of Black Metal has been released. A band with so many important participations in its lineup during its history has created a very interesting album with new elements and old ideas altogether, in order to give a very complex and artistic outcome. I recommend this one to those that are not 'stuck' in the past of each band and are happy to see their favorite bands evolve and move on.

7 / 10


"Crowsreign" Track-listing:

Evil Gets An Upgrade
There Is No God
The Grim Palace
Darkness Falling
Creation Of Satan
The Sign Of Eternal Curse
A Vision Of A Nameless Soul
Emerging From The Immortals
The King Of Asine
Spirit Of The Tomb
Angel Of Revenge

Varathron Lineup:

Stephan Necroabyssious - Vocals
Bill Crazy Wizard - Synths
Achilleas - Guitar & Bass
Haris - Drums

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