Vardan – …Dreaming…Living My Funeral (Moribund)Sunday, 29th December 2013
Ah, the joys of winter being in full swing (not that I’m particularly feeling it here in central California), for what better way to wrap up the year than an overdue indulgence in a necro-to-the-max depressive black metal release? The joy of the season is not lost on one-man maestro (and namesake) Vardan, a man who has had an obscenely productive 2013 (three albums!) and looks to start 2014 in a similar manner. All that aside though, that it’s a one-man project and firmly in a similar vein of older Forgotten Tomb, very few who peel back the layers of …Dreaming…Living My Funeral will find shocks or surprises. If you’re into the style, that’s great. If not…well, you won’t find much to recommend you here.
Stop at random across any of the album’s four lengthy (7-13ish minute) pieces and one will find similar spheres of aural impression – lo-fi instruments maxed in the mid range and played from slow to slowest with all manner of asides given to producing a ‘haunted’ atmosphere. For large portions of something like “Wandering Spirit,” it does work. It’s not the kind of thing you listen to for a good time but you knew that before you started, didn’t you?
Closer “Cold Way to Exist” is the standout for me in this release, if only because it comes across in a much quieter manner than the other three and meanders through its given miseries perhaps slowest of them all. At just under 40 minutes the album doesn’t really stick around long enough to wear out its welcome, but with how similar most of the tracks are to one another there are many times when the experience can blur together, though as always with this style that’s likely intentional – embodying the misery, so to speak. For purveyors of depressive black, someone to take up the mantle left behind by the evolved Forgotten Tomb is here. For everyone else, proceed with caution.