Varathron – Untrodden Corridors of Hades

Well, this was a ruined special review.  Originally, we intended on dealing out this on Saturday and calling it Satan Saturday, thereby giving us an excuse to post a Satanic something rather on Saturday thereafter and start a new trend no one else would pay attention to.  So that fell through, and then we figured, well, Sunday works too, right?  It's the perfect contradiction, hmm?  Well, that also fell through, so now you have to deal with Satan Monday, which is probably as Satanic as any other day, if not more Satanic because most people are off to work and hate everything that lives.  Varathron are listed as 'black metal' on Metallum, but really that doesn't apply here at all, because they're clearly more of the Satanic death metal vein with blackened aspects, which is exactly why we already pulled out the Devil left and right in this introduction.  These Greek monsters started their career way back in 1988, and it's about time they got even more exposure, small site though we are.  After a ton of splits, EPs, and releases under a variety of labels, they just recently hit it off with their next full-length on Agonia Records, whose PR power attack should do plenty for giving more exposure where it's due, and it's definitely due for these hardworking boys.  For a band to last this long, doing what they love, and obviously not caring much about who listens to them, can often feel like a blessing.  Sorry, had to contradict the direction of this review at some point.  Shall we continue?

  

And a true blessing is this release, Untrodden Corridors of Hades.  Why?  Because we're all Goddamn sick of Satan, that's why.  Satan this, Satan that, black mass this, black mass that, a sacrifice here, a sacrifice there, Satan is his name-o.  It's really tiresome anymore, and very few bands can pull off Satanic imagery without looking like they just found a copy of The Satanic Bible in the bargain bin at Goodwill.  The rule of thumb to observe is if you don't feel a spiritual decay when you're listening to such music or looking at the imagery surrounding it, it's probably not as Satanic as it needs to be.  We don't need the kind of Satanic you get out of showing a random picture of the devil sourced from Google to a Christian, they can be disturbed by any such image.  This needs to be upper-rung evil, the kind of Satan that makes the majority of people who have "seen it all" wish they hadn't and convert to Orthodoxy to bring it back to the roots out of fear for their afterlife.  Is Untrodden Corridors of Hades this kind of 'Satanic' or is it of the other variety?

 

Didn't you see the cover?  What else do you need, friend?  Varathron put Satan right there staring out of darkness, but it's not the Illuminati Satan, it's the one you actually feel uncomfortable about, you look at it for a second and say to yourself, "hmm, should I really be listening to this kind of music with a kid on the way?"  No kid?  No problem, doesn't matter, just remove that part, same effect.  Untrodden Corridors of Hades is blissfully evil, Satanically holy, it's a Godly level of blasphemy that deserves its place in Heaven.  Surprisingly, it does it using the classic tropes.  As it begins, in fact, it seems rather bold in what it does, counterbalancing slower riff drags with either a real or sampled choir that would crumble any other act into trivialism.  But man, oh man, do Varathron know what they're doing.  The solos, the power, the ability to hold the listener's Satanic attention regardless of the speed of the riffs, it's practically amazing.  They've somehow taken the melodramatic presence of the usual imagery in Satanic metal and created something fresh.  This alone makes it worth the listen, and continuing from there is definitely in your best interest.  Killer release right here, full Satanic.  At the time of this writing the preorder is currently completing.  The official release is the 21st of November, so if you go through the link from the promotional track we have above (final track off the actual album), you'll see where you need to click to order to pick up the limited vinyl, a shirt, whatever you fancy to become Satanic again.  Be proud, pull out that old image, dust it off, and claim new ground.

 

Varathron Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Varathron – Untrodden Corridors of Hades
Agonia Records
5 / 5