Polish Pagan Black Metal Group VARMIA Signs With M-Theory Audio
New album 'bal Lada' to be released in Spring 2021
The Polish pagan black metal group VARMIA – who pay tribute to their Baltic roots by combining black metal sounds with traditional instruments such as the goat horn and the tagelharpa - has signed with M-Theory Audio. The band's third album, “bal Lada,” will be released in Spring 2021. An early taste of the spirits soon to be summoned can be seen in this video showcasing the making of the album HERE.
VARMIA was formed in 2016 by vocalist/guitarist/composer Lasota with a mission of fusing black metal with musical influences that pay tribute to the ancient Baltic tribes of the historical Warmia region of northern Poland. On vocal duties, Varmia emits harsh growls that shroud the band's music and native Polish lyrics in a visceral aura, the only breaks from this vocal assault occurring when using the traditional, ancient technique of “whitevoice” clean singing as utilized during ancient East-Central European rituals, rites of passage and festivals. Meanwhile, the power of the band's metal influences are enhanced on "bal Lada" by traditional ethnic instrumentation of the Baltic Rites via sounds of tagelharpa, goat horn, wood tuba and krivula. The final result is a compelling mix of dark metallic sounds that channel the spirit of early Enslaved, Satyricon and Wolves in the Throne Room and folk elements that drive acts such as Wardruna.
VARMIA has released two albums to date – 2017's “Z mar twych” and 2018's “W ciele nie”. The group records all of their music in culturally significant remote locations throughout their native Poland, and “bal Lada” continues that practice, as the 11 tracks of ominous and atmospheric pagan black metal contained within were recorded in a makeshift studio set up by the band in an old 19th-century manor in Northern Poland, where they recorded while playing together as a live unit with no sound editing.
With the forthcoming release of “bal Lada,” M-Theory Audio is set to spread the band's native sounds to a worldwide audience. Says Lasota, “With two releases so far, VARMIA has shouted out the voice of our land mainly on the Polish soil – the voice of disquiet, passion and agitation. It is now time to hear it echo throughout the whole world. VARMIA still has many stories to tell, and we are very excited to work with such well-respected people from overseas. We have many spirits yet to summon.”
More information on VARMIA and the upcoming release of “bal Lada” will be unveiled by M-Theory Audio in the weeks to come, and by VARMIA at www.facebook.com/varmiaband.
SCARDUST To Perform Free Record Release Livestream Show This Weekend
Israeli progressive/symphonic metal group’s acclaimed new concept album ‘Strangers’ out now
To commemorate the release of their intriguing new concept album “Strangers,” the acclaimed Israeli progressive/symphonic metal band SCARDUST will host a livestream record release party this Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. CET/6 p.m. GMT/1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST. The free event, which can be streamed via www.facebook.com/ScardustOfficial, will see the band perform songs from “Strangers” – hailed by Sonic Perspectives as “progressive metal album-of-the-year material” – live for the first time. In addition, the band will participate in a Q&A with special guest musician Patty Gurdy, who appears on the album’s epic “Concrete Cages.”
Says vocalist Noa Gruman, “After months of recording and working through quarantine, we want to celebrate with you all! We can’t perform on stage yet, but we can still have a live show on Facebook. Our new album, 'Strangers,’ deals with the concept of being estranged. Written from multiple perspectives, it explores the ways in which people can be estranged from one another, from themselves, from society, from their loved ones and even from their own subconsciousness.”
“Strangers” – available now in stores and on digital music platforms such as Amazon, Apple Music, and Spotify – is a unique concept album built of complementary song pairs working from the outside in. CD and limited-edition gray smoke vinyl editions of the album are also available HERE.
Mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Devin Townsend, Arch Enemy), “Strangers” – described by by Dead Rhetoric as “captivating from start to finish” – was written and composed jointly by Gruman and composer Orr Didi, who also collaborated with SCARDUST on their full-length debut “Sands of Time” and their 2015 EP “Shadow.” In addition to acclaimed German folk musician Gurdy, the album features guest appearances by the Hellscore choir (Orphaned Land, Amorphis) – who appear alongside Gruman on Ayreon’s new album, “Transitus” – and England’s prestigious Westbrook Hay Prep School Chamber Choir.
Two of the inter-connecting stories told by SCARDUST on "Strangers" were recently revealed in two sets of music videos. The video for "Tantibus II" told the tale of the protagonist who decided to disconnect from reality into her own mind, while the video for "Addicted" revealed that there was a caring person who tried to dissuade her from those actions. The videos for "Stranger" and "Gone," meanwhile, tell a story from two different perspectives - one from a person who feels abandoned by someone close to them, and the other from a person who feels they need to escape their current situation in order to evolve. All four music video from "Strangers" can be viewed HERE.
Israel’s leading progressive metal group, SCARDUST has performed at such major festivals as Ramblin’ Man Fair (UK), Metaldays (Slovenia) and Midi (China). In addition, the band hosts the annual “Scarfest” event in their home country, where they’ve also appeared alongside the likes of Therion, Epica and Symphony X.
HELSOTT UNVEILS NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR THE SONG ‘HELSOTT’
America’s leading pagan metal band to release remixed/remastered edition of debut album ‘Woven’ this Friday
HELSOTT – America's leading pagan metal band – has unveiled a new music video for the song “Helsott.” The track appears on their debut full-length, “Woven,” which will be reissued this Friday (Nov. 13) by M-Theory Audio in celebration of the group's 10th anniversary. The video – designed by Raf Ortega of Ecliptic Visions – can be viewed at HERE.
Says vocalist Eric Dow, “The song ‘Helsott’ embodies the essence of death knocking on your door. With all of the death that we have seen in 2020, it seems like the perfect time to reissue it with a lyric video. The song both aggressively and beautifully articulates the experience of death. Some die alone, others with loved ones by their side, and some are even self-sacrificing. This song ambitiously confronts the inevitable fate we all share.”
Originally released in 2014, “Woven” has been newly remixed and remastered by J-F Dagenais (Kataklysm, Misery Index) and features striking fantasy artwork by Felipe Machado Franco (Iced Earth, Blind Guardian). A limited-edition, 180-gram white wax pressing of 200 hand-numbered copies will mark the album's first-ever vinyl release. The CD, meanwhile, will include the band’s 2012 debut EP “Fólkvangr” – which has also been remixed and remastered by Dagenais – as bonus tracks. Both formats of “Woven” are available now for pre-order HERE.
Since their formation, the California-based HELSOTT – whose name means “fatal illness” in Old Norse – has paid homage to pagan cultures and mythologies while keeping true to their American influences. The group's unique mix of folk metal, death metal, symphonic metal, thrash, classical and rock first caught the attention of audiences on a large scale during the 2013 Paganfest North American tour, where they performed with Ensiferum, Tyr and Trollfest. That tour set the stage for the 2014 release of “Woven,” which was supported with tours alongside Arkona and Heidevolk.
While the original songs contained on “Woven” were powerful musical statements in their own rights, the newly remixed and remastered version of the record breathes new life and reinvigorated strength into the band's already-stellar work.
"'Woven' sonically reveals our lives at the time – the ups and downs, thrills and chills,” says drummer Cooper Dustman of the band's formative work. “A dance between beauty and brutality make this a true staple to a sound that represents our journey in metal music."
"'Woven' is a collection of songs written during a dark time in my life,” says guitarist Mark Dow. “It was, at that time, my escape from all of that nonsense. I am very happy to finally present it in the way it's meant to be heard thanks to J-F Dagenais."
"'Woven' is one of my best achievements in my life,” adds Eric Dow. “With this reissue, we included our 2012 EP 'Fólkvangr,' which has also been remixed and mastered by J-F. Now every song in our catalog has been mixed and mastered by J-F and released by M-Theory Audio. I couldn't be happier about that!"
In the years since the original release of “Woven,” HELSOTT has released an EP (2017’s “The Healer”) and a second full-length (2018’s “Slaves and Gods”) and logged many touring miles worldwide with artists including Korpiklaani, I Am Morbid, Necrophagia, Tengger Cavalry, Ashes of Ares, Felix Martin, Arkona, Skyforger and Finsterforst. In addition, the band has performed at major European festivals such as Wacken Open Air and Cernunnos Pagan Fest. The group is currently working on a new album, which they hope to release in 2021.