Vardan – Enjoy of Deep Sadness (Moribund)

Thursday, 24th July 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

The second album for Vardan this year (compared to three last year) and a noticeable step-up from my previous exposures to his work, Enjoy of Deep Sadness is surprisingly resonant depressive black metal executed to near perfection. You get what you pay for, don’t mistake it, this is an excursion in the depths of the human condition, three tracks and 37 some odd minutes (all around or over the 12 minute mark) of funeral march tempos, melancholy through melody, and a standard black metal rasp drowning it all in the ghosts of mistakes long made. This is a very anti-summer album.

There isn’t much point to call out the tracks individually because in passing, they all come across in a very similar manner due to pacing, structure, and execution. That being said, I cannot say that they really bleed together for each has its own tiny bit of something that keeps it flowing within the whole and resonant on its own. For closer “An Abstract Voice” it is an ongoing and crushing sense of finality that permeates throughout, especially in the unraveling of the second half.

Depressive black metal, especially in this ‘suicidal’ vein of old Forgotten Tomb and a myriad of Finnish groups, is a very tough sell for most. It’s as calm as black metal is apt to get (ambient varieties notwithstanding) and is usually uncomfortable to indulge for long periods, more oft than not. I’m not sure what sort of persistent existential ills must weigh upon Vardan to churn out music at the rate that he does but whatever the source, the effects are palpable here. Indulge at your own risk but know that once within the clutches of Enjoy of Deep Sadness, you’re unlikely to smile for the remainder of your stay.

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