Polish Pagan Black Metal Alchemists VARMIA Premiere Music Video for 'Upperan'
New album 'bal Lada' due March 12; pre-orders available now
Polish pagan black metal group VARMIA have premiered their new music video for “Upperan,” the second single from their upcoming third album (and M-Theory Audio debut) “bal Lada.” The clip – which premiered yesterday via Decibel Magazine – was shot on location at a castle in the band's home region of Warmia and features a guest appearance from Polish “whitevoice” vocalist Jagna. The “Upperan” video can be viewed HERE and produced by Otwarta Scena.
“Upperan” is also now streaming on all major platforms and is one of two instant downloads that are included with digital pre-orders of “bal Lada,” which will be released on March 12. CD and limited-edition brown-marble double-LP editions of the album are now available for pre-order HERE.
VARMIA pays tribute to their Baltic roots by combining black metal with traditional instruments such as the goat horn and the tagelharpa. All of the group’s albums to date have been recorded in culturally significant regions throughout their native Poland. The band continued this practice during the making of the music video for “Upperan.”
Vocalist/guitarist/band founder Lasota had this to say of the video for “Upperan” and the song itself: "An ecstatic dance of flames as they devour the flesh. To disassemble the bones to leave the soul naked in the cold. Nothing brighter than the burning pyre. Nothing colder than the stone stained with the stream of blood. 'Upperan' in ancient Prussian language means "sacrifice." We performed the song at the castle where such stone still stands. Deep in the ground, veiled by the numbness of the centuries, yet still pulsing with its coldness. It conducted these tones."
The 10 tracks of ominous and atmospheric pagan black metal that compose “bal Lada” were tracked in a makeshift studio set up by the band in a 19th Century manor in northern Poland, where they recorded while playing together as a live unit with no sound editing. A video documenting the album's creation can be seen HERE.
The video for “Upperan” is the follow-up to “bielmo,” the first single from “bal Lada.” The clip for that song, loaded with visually stunning images from the band's home region, can be viewed HERE.
VARMIA was formed in 2016 by 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. “bal Lada” is the group's third album following 2017's “Z mar twych” and 2018's “W ciele nie.” Vocally, harsh growls shroud the band's music and native Polish lyrics in a visceral aura, the only breaks 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 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.
SCARDUST Expands Upon New Album's Concept In Music Video For 'Mist'
Latest video from Israeli progressive/symphonic metal group’s acclaimed sophomore LP ‘Strangers’
Following an earlier peek behind the scenes at the making of their latest record “Strangers,” Israel's SCARDUST provides their fans with another glimpse behind the curtain via their latest clip, “Mist.” The video and song, which tell a complementary story to their recently released clip for “Break The Ice,” can be viewed HERE.
“'Mist' is the closing song of 'Strangers' and the parallel to 'Break The Ice,’ which opens the album,” explains vocalist Noa Gruman. “Now the protagonist has been through experiences that shaped her to become more confident in a way that is less dependent on others. Every relationship we have has a potential of experiences and memories that may or may not happen if the relationship continues. Even after many years, some sides of those we know best are still unfamiliar to us, so what might happen if we go and part ways?”
In other exciting news, Gruman was recently announced as a lead vocalist on THERION's new record, “Leviathan” (Nuclear Blast). This is just the latest in a list of impressive recent guest vocal appearances, which also include Amorphis' 2018 record “Queen of Time,” Orphaned Land's 2018 album “Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs” and Ayreon’s recently released “Transitus.”
“Strangers” – which can be streamed on all major digital platforms or purchased on CD and now on limited-edition gray smoke vinyl HERE – is a unique concept album built of complementary song pairs working from the outside in. Several recently released music videos, which can be seen at SCARDUST's YouTube, further demonstrate the degree to which different tracks from the album are thematically connected.
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.” The album features guest appearances by acclaimed German folk musician Patty Gurdy, the Hellscore choir (Orphaned Land, Amorphis, Ayreon) and England’s prestigious Westbrook Hay Prep School Chamber Choir.
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. The group’s recent “Strangers” record release livestream can be viewed for free HERE.
Polish Pagan Black Metal Group VARMIA Unveils Cover
Artwork For New Album ‘bal Lada’
Unique amalgamation of extreme metal and traditional Baltic instrumentation due 3/12
Polish pagan alchemists VARMIA – who pay tribute to their Baltic roots by combining black metal with traditional instruments such as the goat horn and the tagelharpa – will release their third album (and M-Theory Audio debut), “bal Lada,” on March 12. The cover artwork, which was designed by percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Piotr, can be viewed above. The album can be pre-ordered on CD and limited-edition 2LP colored vinyl HERE.
“The album title 'bal Lada' is a wordplay,” explains band founder Lasota. “It's most obvious in Polish, but should translate well in other languages as well. It means both 'ballad' and 'Lada's ball'. The term 'ballad' could refer to a literary form, but is also understood as a sad song. 'Lada' or 'Lado' is an ancient deity associated with both Baltic and Slavic cult heritage. She and/or he was most likely responsible for harmony, fertility and well-being. The title represents our take on the medieval dance of death concept and its depiction in the danse macabre allegory - the 'bal' of life forces, circle of cycles, primal lusts, desires and thus deprivations and metamorphoses of flesh and spirit. This is a ritual dance in the oldest forest on one hand, but it's also a whole universe's life and death cycle on the other. The lyrics are mainly in Polish, but with some elements of ancient Prussian language. The cover art and graphic design is made by our band member Piotr, who plays all the ethnic instruments on the album. Follow the Moon and walk into the silent woods of Warmia.”
VARMIA recorded their previous albums – 2017's “Z mar twych” and 2018's “W ciele nie” – in culturally significant remote locations throughout their native Poland. “bal Lada” continues that practice, as the 10 tracks of ominous and atmospheric pagan black metal contained within were tracked in a makeshift studio set up by the band in an old 19th-century manor in Northern Poland, where they performed while playing together as a live unit with no sound editing. A video documenting the album's recording can be seen HERE.
VARMIA recently unveiled a taste of the sounds to be found on “bal Lada” with the premiere of the music video for the first single from the record, “bielmo”. The visually stunning tribute to the band's home region can be viewed HERE. Additional previews of “bal Lada” will be unveiled in the coming weeks.