It is already largely known that such a big country as Russia is, they also have a high quality Metal scene over there that has produced many great sounding acts for many years already, truly worth our attention. That list is basically endless, so without starting any somewhat unnecessary name bombardment about any of these Russian top quality Metal names, let is concentrate on this 3-piece act out of the vast Russian Metal scene instead - a band named DARGONOMEL. Technically speaking, this act was formed in 2006 and existed about 4 years under the SUBTERRA DE MORT moniker - and even getting one album out titled "Ultimatum" by that name. In 2011 the band name was changed to SAKKATH, and pretty much during the same year, they finally ended up taking the DARGONOMEL name for themselves, which they have been using ever since. "Varkulama" is their first 11-song official record, and I must tell you DARGONOMELs own fusion of Black and Death Metal is catapulted out in one hell of an entertaining package on this very hate-filled and dark record. To get some facts straight as for starters, DARGONOMEL represent that end of extreme Metal bands that anything - ANYTHING really, could be possible for them in the future if some lucky stars were meant to be turned for an ideal position for them. I guess it could be said that only the sky above us, is a limit for them. I mean, if bands like the Polish BEHEMOTH and VADER have both make things big for themselves over the years, nothing should stop DARGONOMEL to enter a bigger international league with this top-notch blackened Death Metal either. Musically, DARGONOMELs own song compositions do reach the same quality level as can be found from either some of BEHEMOTHs or VADERs latest offerings. In fact, in many ways the Russian DARGONOMEL do remind me of those two powerful Polish war tanks as far as their intense, very atmospheric and amazingly well composed Black / Death Metal is concerned - spiced with some progressive and experimental elements that originally the Jerusalem based MELECHESH have become known for using on their latest albums without reservation. What "Varkulama" is first and foremost, it is definitely one of the most outstanding, most powerful, most idea-rich and most carefully crafted extreme Black / Death Metal albums released in 2013. I was totally blown away when I heard it for the very first time - probably because at first I really did not expect much out of it at all. DARGONOMEL deserve to become more known around in the every corner of the world, as they truly represent the highest quality of whole Black / Death Metal genre. This stuff definitely has lotsa potential smoking value to it - and big time even!
Behemoth and company move over, today we have Russias Dargonomel and their devastating Black/Death Metal debut release “Varkulama”. Delivering over 45 minutes of crushing music, this band has enough power behind their sound to blow the competition away. Filled with hate and brutality, the 11 tracks presented in this release are relentless and uncompromising. Opening with two songs with atmospheric intros titled “Leviathan retributive” and “From the void this is beyond”, this Russian three-piece delivers unrivaled waves of brutality. Focusing on aggressive riffs, lush drumming, and brutal hate-filled vocals, tracks like “Varkulama” showcase their aggressive power and superior execution skills. The tracks are filled with powerful Death Metal riffs, enough to please any of the genres most demanding fans. Switching between tracks that need intros, and others that just blast away at the listener, “Varkulama” is one very well balanced album that showcases the bands strengths and avoids being linear at all costs. Some of our favorite tracks in this release include the terrifying “Discrowned”, the punishing “Ave incanus”, and the monumental “Under the bleeding sign” - a very intricate and well-crafted instrumental piece. As the album draws to a close with the chilling “Adventum Execratum” and the crushing bonus track “Let the beast out”, we can not help but wonder how much can this band improve in the future. With a commanding debut full-length, the pressure is on to create an even more powerful and devastating release next. If you like Behemoth and Black/Death Metal releases that have a very solid production with brilliant execution, be sure to get yourself a copy of this release.
After having been taken by surprise by Dargonomels third album “Astazebian” which I liked more than I would have expected I decided to dig a bit deeper. “Varkulama” is the first album by this promising Russian band and a lot what I said about their more recent output is also valid for this one. With only 4 years between their three albums there is a certain evolution to be found but overall the sound of the first and the last opus (I am not familiar with album number 2 so far) are very similar. This kind of hybrid of Black and Death Metal has been done a lot of times before so there is nothing exactly innovative or new to be found here. We got the typical hyper-speed blasting sections, furious riffs interchanging with more melodic lead sections, ultra-fast drumming and some symphonic elements. So while there are no real surprises as far as the main ingredients are concerned it is the way those elements are used that make or break a release in the crowded market of today. Fortunately Dargonomel have a really good feeling of how to put the pieces of the puzzle back together. Instead of getting too dramatic and overdo the epic factor they concentrated on writing actual songs that have a stringent structure and are immediately listenable. All tracks consist of the typical verse-chorus structure with great but not too overblown lead sections. Most songs also offer refrains which might not be that catchy within the first spin but will grow over time with the listener. The songs are seldom longer than 5 minutes so there are no sections with overly long instrumental show-offs. There are other factors than staying away from the slightly chaotic feeling inherent in most BM records that make Dargonomel more accessible than some of their peers. For one the vocals are aggressive but not too hysterical. I would not go as far as call them “clean” but they are easily understandable and just a bit less hyperbolic than you might expect on such a release. Beside that the production is quite modern with a clear and powerful mix. Purists might criticize this approach but to my ears the sound is spot-on. While “Astazebian” might be a bit more polished than “Varkulama” this record is as strong as their latest one. Good stuff.
Here is a very interesting, dark and brutal album from Russian band Dargonomel. Seems that scene over there is pretty much crowded because it is another band from that area that is quite impressive with their music. The album is fulfilled with occult themes inspired by Necronomicon, ancient mythologies, witchcraft and relevant topics. The viciousness of music is what evil bands used to have in their arsenal of sounds and Dargonomel is the one you certainly want to hear. Astazebian is black, death metal album with fast and atrocious songs but also technical ones which is a precious for their music. The quality of tracks is set on very satisfactory level. Maturity of music is written in their nature because of their incredible musicianship, which for me, is out of question. When chaos and brutality of the music takes over, they will leave you lifeless in the shadow of moonlight. The Astazebian album portrays them as very uncompromising horde but they want their music to reach out the sinister sounds which indeed, lies in darkness of their very well composed songs. You shall probably think about bands like Belphegor, Behemoth (mid discography) when you listen to this album but it seems that you have no choice when you are constantly in the middle of storming blast beats, evil riffs and merciless vocals. This album is like a fire you can not stop and like a wounded, wild animal that will fight till last breath against bloodthirsty oppressors. It is a catalyst album that brings all best elements of blackened death metal into one album which is Astazebian. Dargonomel deserves(!) much better recognition for this outstanding effort.
Ultra fast combo of death/black metal that will have your neck snapping and air drums galore. Vocals from hell and the speed does not let up except a few stops along the way. The drummer pounds those drums into hyperdrive on this and the guitar crunch is big time heavy and sounds greats to these ears. This band has a great combo of both styles and this does not sound generic at all and with this you get the best of both worlds.
Most of the time I like my Death Metal pure and in the Oldschool vein staying clear of any other influences. Stumbling over “Astazebian” I did not really expect to like this Album that much as it is described as a hybrid of Death and Black Metal with a lot of brutal and atmospheric sections. While I can agree on this description the final result is a great piece of extreme music and much more accessible than it might sound in the first place. It seems that the most prominent band Dargonomel are compared to is Behemoth. I have to admit that I do not own any record by them but I got reminded of another Polish band called Begerith who are playing a similar style to Dargonomel. The basic framework consists of driving Death Metal riffs which are combined with great melodies and dark harmonies giving the whole thing a blackened touch. Most of the time the band attacks with furious speed but there are enough sections where the tempo is slowed down a bit and rhythm changes are implemented. This helps as otherwise the permanent pummeling would get too much for some listeners. The rhythm guitar and the lead work are perfectly complementing each other. The main themes range from melodic and uplifting to dark and melancholic. The drumming is brutal and relentless without getting to technical. Generally speaking the instrumentation is top notch. Fortunately the songwriting skills are also great and while it might take more than one listen to really “get” everything the band always keeps the song itself in the focus. There is a stringent structure to be found in each of the tracks. The vocals are deep and growly most of the time sounding very aggressive and angry. Singer Var acts like a mad priest summoning some demons. This is perfectly fitting as the lyrics are about occult stuff, Monsters and ancient curses. The same can be said about the sinister cover art work held in black/white with sprinkles of red which also adds to the overall atmosphere of the record. The production is powerful and clear giving each instrument enough room to be heard. For some Metal fans it might sound too modern but I believe this is the way the music on “Astazebian” has to sound. With a filthier production job some of the details might have been buried in the mix which would have been a shame. All that said I am looking forward to hearing more from these guys.
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