Release date: 15th February 2019 || Genre: Progressive sudge || Label: Argonauta Records
This instantly smacks of Mastodon! If I didn’t know better, the first vocals, riffs, and structures would have me believe, without a doubt, that’s who I was listening to. Opener proper, The Abstract Corpse, exists precisely between the simplistic magnitude of Crack The Sky and mania of Blood Mountain.
It’s a hard mindset to shift, moving on. However, working through the rest of the tracks, it becomes more obvious that this isn’t all there is to Varego. Hidden up their collective sleeve, is the ace in a pan-generational bong circle of psych-doom hold ’em. This really lifts the album for me, and I’m glad it is the dominant approach throughout the rest of the release. It’s not that it’s better, per se. It just feels a little more natural and rounded out.
The balance between this and the aforementioned sound is somewhat staccato, and it would be intriguing to hear the two blended more into one. There is some suggestion of this on third track, Of Dust. Indeed, the smoothing off of the joins is a real listening pleasure.
I Prophetic – their third full-length – is a development for the band, and certainly a more professional piece of work, but a little of their prior quirkiness has been smudged over in the process. You can see they have succeeded in stepping up their game, but I’d personally like more of the weird kept in. Still a solid release, and sure to appeal to those who like to trip a little heavy fantastic.