Varathron
Patriarchs of Evil


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
May 6th, 2018 | 80 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Varathron mark their 30th anniversary with their greatest achievement yet.

It almost feels like yesterday when as a young teen I was reading about the five extreme metal bands which were on the verge of putting Greece on the map of international rock/metal. Something that is very natural today, felt almost surreal due to the fact that it had rarely been done before with the exception of Socrates and Aphrodite’s Child. Those five bands were Rotting Christ, Necromantia, Varathron, Septic Flesh and Nightfall. The first three essentially defined Greek black metal as we come to know it today while the other two are arguably the greatest melodic death metal bands of the country. Each outfit brought its own elements to the scene and some of them even shared members. Nevertheless, only two of them finally enjoyed international recognition by larger audiences while the remaining three followed their own paths.

Varathron are not only one of the oldest Greek black metal acts but also one of the greatest underground bands of the country with classic albums such as His Majesty at the Swamp and Walpurgisnacht – two cornerstones of the scene. Their latest offering, however, is not only their most complete but also their greatest achievement, to the point where if it was released 25 years ago, it would have blown the aforementioned LPs out of the water. The traditional elements of the band are once again present: the warm Mediterranean sound, the epic tendencies, the majestic atmosphere, the occult lyrics and the dark lyricism. All these have been worked to perfection and enhanced by memorable riffs and catchy keyboard melodies. In addition, the average track duration is lower than that on the last three albums which makes the LP more consistent. Actually, this is a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to get into Varathron.

For those who are familiar with the band, Patriarchs of Evil is a nod to the beginnings of Varathron and Greek black metal with a fair amount of variety. For example, the main riff of “Tenebrous” is mid-tempo and has a nice Mediterranean flavor which brings Walpurgisnacht to mind but there are also some black metal outbreaks. “Into the Absurd”, the shortest song of the LP, is a thrashy affair which is reminiscent of the band’s demos while “Luciferian Mystical Awakening” sports a Maiden-esque guitar lead in the 4:10 mark before an atmospheric keyboard melody. Actually, the mid-tempo parts of the album is where this band really nails it as they create a very convincing dark, epic atmosphere such as on album highlight "Ouroboros Dweller (The Dweller of Barathrum)" – a nod to Bathory, one of the main influences of Greek black metal. Another important element of this band is Necroabyssious’ vocals which are different and more varied than your typical black metal shrieks and augment the epic feeling of the album.

At the end of the day, it is not shocking that Patriarchs of Evil turned out so solid but it is certainly surprising that these veterans released their best full-length so deep in their career. Lineup changes, label issues and extended periods of inactiveness certainly influenced their productiveness but it seems that the band’s mastermind (Necroabyssious) still has a lot of gas left in the tank and his vocal performance is as great as ever. Those who want their black metal frosty, wild and with a lo-fi production rather than mid-tempo and melodic might not be big fans of the LP but all of you who appreciate atmospheric metal with a strong ‘90s flavor should not miss out on this one.




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user ratings (91)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
InFlamesWeThrash666
May 6th 2018


8894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AOTY so far

Digging: Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 6th 2018


11677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely up there.

Digging: Flame, Dear Flame - The Millenial Heartbeat

necropig
May 6th 2018


5366 Comments


Aye flames rec'd this and it's good shizzle

Digging: GARDSGHASTR - Slit Throat Requiem

InFlamesWeThrash666
May 6th 2018


8894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad you like it man. Album rips

Maco097
May 6th 2018


3032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"their greatest achievement"



Overrating things already.



Anyway this band has always been consistent, much better than current Rotting Christ.

Hawks
May 6th 2018


70899 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've only heard the debut from these guys but I love it. Jamming this now. m/

Digging: Misthyrming - Algleymi

KingDweedle
May 6th 2018


392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Did not realize Varathron was even still an active band lmao, I will check this!

Hawks
May 6th 2018


70899 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You won't be disappointed cause it fucking rips.

Astral Abortis
May 7th 2018


6745 Comments


Glad to hear this is a great album, but I can't imagine it could ever top their first two. Looking forward to jamming!

Hawks
May 7th 2018


70899 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's not better than the debut but it's really great.

InFlamesWeThrash666
May 7th 2018


8894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Someone should review the first 2 albums. Both are classics for the genre

necropig
May 7th 2018


5366 Comments


Will have to work through their discog

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2018


25294 Comments


i used to have the biggest hard-on for hellenic black metal ... going to have to check this out

Digging: Neckbeard Deathcamp - SO MUCH FOR THE TOLERANT LEFT

necropig
May 7th 2018


5366 Comments


Give Nigredo a go, Greek bm

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2018


11677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agatus is also a very interesting band and of course Kawir.



Regarding Varathron's classic material, I respect it as much as the next guy. As a young dude, I was more than impressed when these guys, Rotting Christ and Necromantia were releasing their early material but classic/defining status aside, this is as good or even better than those albums. His Majesty at the Swamp is great but is underdeveloped compared to this one.

Get Low
May 7th 2018


5170 Comments


"Patriarchs of Evil"

Is this a feminist band?

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2018


25294 Comments


Love Agatus. Will need to check out Necromantia

SCREAM!
May 7th 2018


15756 Comments


Nah evil is a good thing in BM so Patriarchs of Evil wouldn't be a feminist stance here

Astral Abortis
May 7th 2018


6745 Comments


Nothing in Greek bm will ever top Walpurgisnacht for me. Except maybe Necromantia's 91 demo.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2018


11677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Love Agatus. Will need to check out Necromantia"

Definitely dude. Scarlet Evil, Witching Black is a classic of the scene with bass instead of guitar and even sax. Lots of other awesome Greek bm bands as well, Astarte and Deviser are two of them.



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