Bland Vargar – Perpetual Return [Italy, Atmospheric Black] (2014)

Razed Soul Productions | 4-11-14

Razed Soul Productions | 4-11-14

Woooosh. I love it. I love it all. Bland Vagar is an Italian black metal band who concerns themselves with wolves. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The band is listed under a production company called Razed Soul productions but the tape comes to us from our good ol’ friends Caligari Records. I have already gushed about my fascination with the quality of Caligari releases and Bland Vargar is no different. Somewhere in the afterglow of woodsy black metal is still the spark of greenish darkness — one that clasps hard around the throat.

The style of black metal with post rock leanings and a focus on transcendentalism and nature is nothing new. In the previous paragraph I made mention of the Cascadian scene which dominated discussion in the mid 00’s. That same type of black metal is still being played by various other bands though Bland Vargar is sort of different. Different in the fact they still play black metal. Sure there are points in Perpetual Return where things break into acoustic sing song such as “Altar of Delusion” and the closing instrumental “Requiem.” With that said, Bland Vargar is still interested in oppression via vocals and instrumentation. “Noturno 11” and “Bruma” utilize a vocal rasp which emanates the frigidity of a wet pile of leaves. It is something ferocious which is contrasted well against the consonance of the rest of the record. Perpetual Return is interesting not for a unique approach to style rather the employment and craft between the two worlds of dissonance and harmony. Sure other albums similar were released around the same time, but Perpetual Return is something that, at least I feel, is at least more interesting.

It is important to realize that black metal through its various iterations will always be employed despite the style being popular. Bland Vargar’s kinship with atmospheric black metal and wolves is something which makes it unique among the sea of other records not about wolves. Perpetual Return is a record would be near the top of a list for people interested in the style of nature based black metal with a strong possibility of becoming lost and hunted by wild animals.