Bland Vargar – Perpetual Return

The first full-length from Bologna’s Bland Vargar, following their 2012 Notturno 11 EP, was recently released on tape through celebrated (tape) label Caligari Records. Perpetual Return offers the highest expression of shrill aesthetics. Well produced, tightly knit acoustics and the caw of ravens gently lull you into a knotted mass of dying beechwood before thick tremolos and pounding beats drive you headlong into the Etruscan mist. There is a lot of predatory power locked in this album, but the inclusion of the clean vocal track ‘The Altar of Delusion’, with clear homage to projects like Solanaceae, Of the Wand and the Moon and Rome fails to successfully weave its spell. There’s something about the vocal shift  from croons to bellows – that fails to bind. However, within ‘Notturno 11 (Of Death and Rebirth)’, with its deep, rolling bass, the genius riffs mixed with the shrieks of vocalist Varg D and elegantly dressed ambient and palatial keyboard arrangements, we find a language of romance and anguish worthy of the Italian masters.  Stream it on their Bandcamp and buy it from Caligari Records.

Currently residing on the stark plains of Alberta. Rattling among wolf willow and mixedgrass I pen for LURKER and work as a heritage consultant.

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