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After stumbling upon Goatmoon’s new album "Varjot" on a whim I am still contemplating… where the hell did this album come from? Blasting away in Finland for all those years in relative obscurity, no doubt with the distinct title of being kvlt surely intact–– most of Goatmoon’s previous releases never held much sway over me. This album, on the other hand, is an all together different beast that should be lighting up soon enough on every black metaler’s radar.
Varjot, which means shadows, contains raw, black metal with some pagan/folk leanings, executed in a Satanic Warmaster like style with better production value. The album opens with a two minute folky acoustic passage and before you know it your “Storming Through the White Light”, a scorching, toe-tapping metal masterpiece. Keyboards are employed throughout the album, but sparingly enough to not overshadow the intensity or integrity of this endeavor.
Blackgoat Gravedesecrator’s vocals are extremely menacing and vicious; conveying the perfect amount of emotional distress to sound convincing, while not overdoing it. The influence of the German metal band Absurd is abundantly evident, particularly on the song “Wolven Empress”. The pagan/folk metal connection can be observed through the keyboard arrangements found on the song “Abomination of Winter”. It is safe to say that the listener will be hard pressed to find a standout track because this is clearly an album that needs to be experienced from start to finish.
All in all "Varjot" is a solid release that should receive it’s fair share of praise. I am really at a loss to find any discernible flaws with this album. One thing to keep in mind is that it is put together in its entirety by one entity alone. This album is the true embodiment of great black metal and should make it on to quite a few critic’s lists for best releases of 2011.
Originally written for Adequacy.net: