At this point in the game, it is quite difficult for musicians to find something “new” or “original” in terms of genres. Having said that, there are groups out there that continue to push genre boundaries to make something special. Chicago natives, Varaha, have done just that with their debut full length, A Passage For Lost Years (Prosthetic). Mixing post-metal, black metal, and gothic doom, Varaha has recorded quite a journey that is sure to touch upon many emotions. As a bonus, nine tracks seem to fit perfectly in terms of length where you get the whole message from this album, but it does not overstay its welcome and grow stale.
The opening track, ‘Severance’ starts off right away with clean vocals and light instrumentals to set the mood. Eventually, the song builds up and keeps hitting this one guitar riff that seriously stays with you the rest of the day. This track sets the mood of what to expect the rest of A Passage For Lost Years. ‘My World and Yours’ might be the best track on the whole album, however. Breaking the ten-minute mark would require some serious progression, atmosphere, and more gorgeous guitar riffs. Fortunately, Varaha absolutely nailed all those areas. The outro is an emotional trip through someone else’s tragedy that I sure love to keep hearing. ‘Refrained’ is another great track from this debut full length that looks to focus more on clean vocals during the chorus which keeps you interested. The bridge section is also beautifully done as it slowly builds up from a nice, clean guitar riff to a reprise of the chorus.
While the rest of the heavy music world continues to battle over who can play fastest or sound “brutal”, I find that bands such as Varaha are looking for more out of their sound. A Passage For Lost Years certainly proves that considering it is their debut full length after only a single EP and it speaks volumes seeing how fantastic this record is. It should be noted that while genres are helpful to describe sounds, they should not be utilized as boundaries and Varaha is a shining example of this.
8 / 10