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Varathron - His Majesty At The Swamp review


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Band: Varathron
Album: His Majesty At The Swamp
Release date: 1993

Disc I
01. His Majesty At The Swamp
02. Son Of The Moon (Act II)
03. Unholy Funeral
04. Lustful Father
05. Nightly Kingdoms
06. Flowers Of My Youth
07. The River Of My Souls
08. The Tressrising Of Nyarlathothep (Act I)
09. The Grim Palace

Disc II [2004 reissue bonus]

01. Tleilaxu (The Unborn Child)
02. Cassiopeia´s Ode
03. The Dark Hills
04. Mestigoth
05. Birthrise Of The Graven Image
06. Redeunt Saturnia Regna
07. Under The Sight Of Horus
08. Somewhere Beyond Seas
09. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

[The Lament Of Gods]
10. Fire Spell / Forbidden Lust
11. Warrior's Nightmare
12. The World Through Ancient Eyes
13. Beyond The Grave
14. Nuns Have No Fun [Mercyful Fate cover]

During the early '90s, a new genre of metal was beginning to develop - we know it as the second wave of black metal - and the Norwegian black metal scene was leading the way with bands, such as Darkthrone , Burzum, Immortal, Emperor and Mayhem, who were all amongst the most popular. However, during this time, Greece was also contributing to this second wave, most notably the band Rotting Christ, with their debut Thy Mighty Contract. At the same time, Varathron, who have always remained in their shadow, also released their debut, His Majesty At The Swamp, which is widely less known.

There are similarities in style between Thy Mighty Contract and His Majesty At The Swamp. The tempo is mid-paced and with traditional metal riffing, which tended to be more melodic-sounding than Norwegian black metal, the drumming is heavily reliant on furious blastbeats, which is still used as the signature drumming style in black metal, and the lyrical themes were focused on occultism.

The vocals are harsh and sinister, and the low guitar tone, the deep-sounding bass, and the mid-tempo riffs give this a sinister sound, and there is a slightly eerie atmosphere which I enjoy, while there are no songs that I can say I dislike.

All in all it's a solid debut that doesn't get as much praise as I think it deserves, and for me it's the sound of the album that stands out, rather than the songwriting itself.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by AndyMetalFreak | 29.08.2021

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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