Vargrav (FIN)
Reign In Supreme Darkness


3.7
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
April 27th, 2019 | 103 replies


Release Date: 04/26/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More than just a trip down memory lane.

If by looking at Reign in Supreme Darkness’ cover art you get Marduk and Emperor vibes, it’s because Vargrav’s sophomore effort is exactly that; well, not exactly that, but a very successful exercise in reviving ‘90s symphonic black metal spirit. Yes, spirit (not the user, even though he’ll probably enjoy this one), because V-Khaoz, the mastermind behind the Finnish act, seems to have studied closely the crème de la crème of symphonic black metal and has produced an album that could have stood its ground back in 1996. Granted, if you’re not into ‘90s black metal homage and would rather jam the OGs of the genre, Reign in Supreme Darkness is not for you. But those who agree with Colton's most famous quote ("Imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery") and get their kicks out of Moon In The Scorpio, In the Nightside Eclipse and Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, are in for a treat.

Honestly, the album’s strongest point is its compelling atmosphere. The combination of the artwork and the majestic intro transports you instantly not only to the glorious days of black metal, but also right in the middle of a medieval fantasy setting, similar to the one on the cover art. Honoring its country of origin, the music here contains a variety of catchy melodies which, along with the layers of synth, enhances the epic element. In fact, the entire LP revolves around the battle between the guitars and synths, which complement each other perfectly. Sparse spoken vocals and slower passages like the one on “Dark Space Dominion” help in the dynamics department, while the clever use of keyboards, which accent the riffs (check “In Streams from Great Mysteries”), creates a majestic atmosphere. What is more, Vargrav is equally comfortable in creating calm passages and menacing, frantic tremolo picking riffs, as evident on “As the Shadows Grow Silent”. In fact, the changes of pace within the same song, are apparent on “Crowned by Demonstorms”, one of the album’s highlights. Finally, the closing track, “Arcane Stargazer”, sums up perfectly what this album is about; it’s grand, adventurous, epic, and blends perfectly cleaner sections with more aggressive/icy ones.

At the end of the day, Reign in Supreme Darkness won’t provide you with a modern take on black metal but it’s fun, engaging, well-performed, and, with a duration of 41 minutes, excellent for when you’re up for some symphonic black metal but don’t want to jam the classics.





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user ratings (43)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2019


11967 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Great stuff, if you're into a symphonic black metal mood.



Full album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7wllxupIVw

Digging: John Mayall - A Hard Road

necropig
April 27th 2019


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Enjoyed the first. Must czech

Digging: Havukruunu - Uinuos Symein Sota

Dimorphic
April 27th 2019


1308 Comments


This review made me realise how shamefully lacking my catalogue of Finnish artists is. Off the top of my head, I can count Moonsorrow, Ikuinen Kaamos and... Now Vargrav.

Pos.

Hawks
April 27th 2019


73846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I’m on this today. Didn’t even know they had a new one coming. Last album was so damn good. m/



Dim get on the new Warmoon Lord too. :]

Digging: Havukruunu - Uinuos Symein Sota

garas
April 27th 2019


4722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy sh*t...! This is sooo damn good!

Digging: Night - High Tides - Distant Skies

Hawks
April 27th 2019


73846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

About to jam after my lunch break!

necropig
April 27th 2019


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Do you ever have jam for lunch?

garas
April 27th 2019


4722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was very good. Slightly above a 4 I'd say - a purple cover atmoblack never disappoints! I agree on every word in the review!

zaruyache
April 27th 2019


22690 Comments


I am the purple wizards!

Hawks
April 27th 2019


73846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just started this and I wanna 4.5 already. Right up my alley.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2019


11967 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Glad you enjoy it guys. And you're absolutely right garas, a purple cover atmoblack never disappoints! [2]

Hawks
April 27th 2019


73846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That is a fact. m/

necropig
April 27th 2019


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Check Ulvegr - Arctogaia, it's a good slice of purple cover metal

garas
April 27th 2019


4722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's on my radar! Thanks @necropig, I'll check it out!

necropig
April 27th 2019


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

np skwisgaar

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2019


14569 Comments


It’s great to see two manosg reviews in a row, great job as always

I heard the opener and thought it was 94 again



Digging: Faceless Burial - Speciation

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2019


11967 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Much appreciated, man. Yeah, this has serious mid-'90s vibes, what a great era for black metal.

Hawks
April 27th 2019


73846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yep this is very early Emperor esque.

heck
April 27th 2019


4741 Comments


need to check this

Digging: Anaal Nathrakh - In the Constellation of the Black Widow

Azog
April 27th 2019


344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Entertaining stuff for sure.



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