Greek Lords Varathron unleash hell
Varathron is a Greek black metal band in a similar vein to early Rotting Christ and Necromantia. They formed in 1988 Stefan Necroabyssious, Captain Death (ex-Vomit, ex-Sound Pollution), Jim Mutilator (ex-Rotting Christ) and John (ex-Danger Cross) united their forces to create VARATHRON. Following the Greek style, the band builds a lot of ambience and progression using strong melodic & hypnotic guitar work and slower doomy/death peaceful moments amongst the occasional bursts of chaos very typical of Greek black metal. In late 2014 Varathron signed a contract with Agonia Records and released “Untrodden Corridors of Hades”. Stefan Necroadyssious is the only original member of Varathron and still in charge.
HMA: Your new release “Untrodden Corridors of Hades” out soon on Agonia Records. Five years have passed since “Stygian Forces of Scorn”, what are we to experience?
Varathron: Yes, our new occult opus will be out on Agonia Records at the end of November 2014. After the last album “Stygian…” we started creating new riff but bad luck stricken again. Haris, our drummer had to go to the army service and the album recordings were delayed. We also had serious financial problems and finding a label was very important for us. The good thing is that all these problems and delays helped us develop our music and focus on lyrics and preproduction. The results are infernal. The new album projects the black flame in our hearts… immortal and eternal.
HMA: Themes of occultism and paganism have always been at the heart of Varathron. What stories are told on “Untrodden Corridors of Hades”?
Varathron: Dreams of ancient religions, apocryphal rituals and voyages beyond the grave, visions of astral trips, war and battles, pain and blood that feed immortal souls, lust and desire for the ultimate gathering. Memories from bizarre dimensions and a nightmare from unknown ledge lands.
HMA: What other subjects inspire you besides occultism?
Varathron: Anything abysmal and evil, the darkness I witness and my sense that I am a strange spirit that travels back and forth in time. The fear of the LORD is my biggest and most powerful inspiration.
HMA: Most of your records have elements of past art but not on “Untrodden Corridors of Hades”. Why this one is so different from your previous releases?
Varathron: All of our releases have elements from the past. The new album contains the same darkness and obscurity. Of course, there is progress in our sound but you’ll find the same strange romantic melodies and mid-tempo obscure riffs. I believe production is quite different and more powerful but not musical identity.
HMA: Mark Riddick made the art I believe. How did you guys get to work together and what relation has the art with the music?
Varathron: Mark and his brother Mike are great friends since 1991. We have kept in touch so I asked Mark if he had the time to create some art for us. The cover revealed aggressive dark feelings and ultimate arcane darkness combined with our music. Mark created this cover while listening to music so there is a true relation between music and illustrations.
HMA: Many of Varathron releases make use of art from great masters. “One Step Beyond Dreams” by Arnold Bocklin, “Stygian Forces of Scorn” by Gustave Dore, “Darkness Has Landed” by Luis Ricardo Falero and lastly I believe is “Genesis of Apocryphal Desire” by William Hogarth. Can you give an insight on your relationship with art and these particular pieces?
Varathron: We admire the dark arts. Some times when I write the lyrics I might look at a painting or cover art. I look out to find “food” for my thoughts and imagination. Something from the dark past. I see the art of Dore or Falero and I want the same obscurity in our music, nothing less!
HMA: Symbolism, mythological and apocalyptic visions undoubtedly fits the music perhaps more than any other genre. You think that that hell, death and so forth were more vivid in the imagination of the artists at that time?
Varathron: If we look back in the time we can see more bands speaking of black magic, mythological and apocryphal visions. These were real feelings and topics in the 60s and 70s. These days dark themes are only an “image” not a way of thinking and living. For us, this is not marketing but passion. The true believers are only a few faithful servants of the Dark Lord.
HMA: Most of the horrors and fantasies used to be predominantly religious orientated. Are the horrors of today such as destruction of the environment, extinction, mass hysteria, diseases, human trafficking, etc. overlooked or not taken as seriously by today artists?
Varathron: I don’t think artists overlook these facts. Many artists create inspired by every day realistic horrors. On the other hand, you can just open the TV and see what’s going on or even worse, we actually witness many times unspeakable things in our everyday lives. The “forbidden” excites fantasy in all arts but talking about reality is a different thing. We prefer talking about our inner reality.
HMA: Thanks for being part of Heavy Music Artwork.
Varathron: Thank you for your support. I wish you the best. Embrace the occult music and follow the “Untrodden corridors of Hades”! I salute all the black soul brother around the world. Keep the black flame alive!!!!
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2014 © Heavy Music Artwork. All Rights Reserved.