From Chicago, atmospheric dark metal ensemble, VARAHA have finally released their mesmerizing debut album “A Passage for Lost Years” via Prosthetic Records. VARAHA’s music is a cinematic journey that defies genre limitations, and immerses us in its evocative, dynamic, and melancholic moods
"As glittery and triumphant as it is heavy, taking the listener on a journey that spans from a slow, marching intro to soaring, progressive doom leads." - KERRANG!
"On their debut album, A Passage For Lost Years, the Chicago quartet deliver a smorgasbord as elegiac as it is sophisticated.” - DECIBEL MAGAZINE
“Chicago’s Varaha really emphasizes the beautiful part, at times drifting into shoegaze territory or pastoral progressive rock — even the four orchestral interludes prove compelling, rather than throwaway interstitial material. There’s so much to digest that A Passage for Lost Years rewards repeat listening in a way streaming-era records rarely do.” - CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
“There is epic and then there is Varaha. Ostensibly operating in the post-metal world, this Chicagoan quartet have constructed a debut album of audacious scale and scope. blending wildly evocative post-metal sprawls with extensive orchestral pieces across 75 immersive minutes. A Passage for Lost Years demands total surrender and, given how Jaw-dropping the likes of My World and Yours and the title track are, will almost certainly get it. Progressive Heaviness just found its new heroes” - PROG MAGAZINE
“Climax and Exile,” is both as memorable and moving as nearly anything released this year, and is just one snippet from an album that rewards repeat listens. - STEREOGUM [BEST NEW METAL JAMS, MAY 2019]
“For those immersed in the world of A Passage For Lost Years, you’ll undoubtedly be overcome by the prowess and talent of both the core band, and their insightful use of orchestral to heighten their vision. A record of real beauty, VARAHA understands the use of dynamics to creating impactful moments in the full body of everything you have to offer, and be just as affecting in the lingering notes.” - DISTORTED SOUND MAGAZINE
“This hour-long behemoth of atmospherics reaches sky-high and digs deep toward the planet’s core, laced with the lushly pained vocals of frontman Fabio Brienza, and consummates indeed Varaha’s position as writers of heavy and dark music, not just creators of it.” - INVISIBLE ORANGES
“the band’s music is both utterly spellbinding and heart-breaking in equal measure, melding gothic gloom and weighty Doom with an unexpectedly raw and vulnerable edge” - NO CLEAN SINGING
“This is an album to wander in” - ANGRY METAL GUY
“A mixture of death, progressive and avant-garde European-style metal, all exposed through a songwriting style that blends fluidity with harshness, caresses and distortions, the quiet and the storm” - METAL ITALIA
“Chicago’s Varaha is a relatively new prospect on the metal scene and one that blows all boundaries and preconceptions about what a metal band can be.” - PURE GRAIN AUDIO
“An album of class and sophistication, A Passage for Lost Years is dark metal art of the highest quality.” - DEAD RHETORIC
“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.” - GHOST CULT MAGAZINE
"As you absorb and digest this compelling release, you’ll simply crave it more and more." - WONDERBOX METAL
Fabio Brienza – vocals, guitars
Joel Hollis – guitars
Bryan Gold – bass
David Swanson – drums
SPECIAL GUESTS AND PERFORMERS
The 9 Tracks within "A Passage for Lost Years" include 4 Orchestral Overtures composed and conducted by Varaha guitarist & singer Fabio Brienza, and recorded by Nick Broste (Mono, Wilco) - featuring guest performances by Nicholas Dellacroce (Bongripper), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Brain Tentacles), Nora Barton (Mucca Pazza, Mono), Kristina Lee & members of The Oak Park & River Forest Symphony Orchestra. Additional recordings were captured by Mike Lust (Russian Circles, Urge Overkill), including a special guest performance by Chuck Bontrager (Concertmaster for the Chicago production of "Hamilton: an American Musical").
The artwork for the album cover was designed by legendary artist Travis Smith (Death, Opeth, Katatonia).
“MIDNIGHT OATH” IS THE LATEST “MEAD AND METAL” COLLABORATION BETWEEN BRIMMING HORN MEADERY (MILTON, DE) AND VARAHA
During Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest, Philly 2019, The Brimming Horn Meadery was voted one of the The Six Most Metal Breweries in the country. Via their “Mead and Metal” series, owner Robert Walker and owner & brewmaster Jon Talkington have teamed up with many and outstanding international acts such as Enslaved, Incantation, Hail the Sun, Junius, Atlas Moth, and more!
On June 7th 2019, “Midnight Oath” was released in collaboration with Varaha: “Midnight Oath” is a Blackberry Mead flavored with orange & lemon zest, basil and sage. 14% ABV and AVAILABLE NOW for shipping!
VARAHA EP 2017 PRESS
VARAHA — named in honor of the boar manifestation of Indian god Vishnu who lifts the earth from underneath the ocean — play a dynamic brand of dark and somber doom/dark rock inspired metal. The band’s palette is wide and varies from monolithic, heavily distorted guitars to elegiac and nostalgic arrangements. Their music is a cinematic dance between heavy riffing counterpointed by omnipresent melodies, as well as droned parts of despair, and evocative clean guitar arrangements.
Windy City-based atmospheric metal collective VARAHA unleashed their eagerly anticipated self-titled debut EP. Recorded by Nick Morgan and Mike Lust (Urge Overkill, Russian Circles, William Elliott Whitmore, Child Bite) and mixed and mastered by Adam K. Stilson (Airiel, Car Seat Headrest, Ritual Howls, Pink Frost, Radar Eyes) at Decade Music Studios, the three tracks comprising the EP includes guest appearances by Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House, Brain Tentacles et al) on saxophone and Josie Boyer (Round Rock Symphony Orchestra) on cello.
VARAHA continues to earn critical exaltation for the EP. The Record was featured in Angry Metal Guy's 2017 Year End List EP Edition adding that "Between the shimmery guitar melodies, the airy atmosphere, dreamlike singing and nightmarish shrieking by guitarist Fabio Brienza, “Cubicle” and “Ghost” compose a beautiful picture of what’s in store when the band releases their debut full-length in the near future" Metal Nexus observes, “There are dark overtones to the somber sonic output presented here, with each track possessed of airy, ethereal nuances traversing their wide expanses. Epic transcendentalist vibes keep you riveted as you listen to the wide spectrum of dynamics taking place and permeating every fiber and note happening around you.“ Toilet Ov Hell calls Varaha "A group fascinated by the possibilities of mingling evocative melodies with crushing riffage." Echoing Magazine commends a, “truly amazing cast,” furthering, “Though you do get hints of those other groups at moments in the play of the saxophone and cello, these are really just accents to a core-sound that is a heavily jazz influenced; Transcendence-era Devin Townsend Project, that intersects with the sometimes ethereal — almost to the point of shoegaze — and black metal aspects of Écailles de Lune-era Alcest.” Invisible Oranges crowns the offering, “elegiac and gorgeous,” adding, “VARAHA have something new to say in the world of gothic doom.” Indy Metal Vault lauds a record that’s, “epic,” and, “flat out fucking gorgeous – particularly, the clean guitar tones that dominate.” HeavyBlogIsHeavy concurs, “VARAHA… play the sort of dark, brooding, and expressive metal that made goth so important to the evolution of doom.” Dead Rhetoric calls the EP, “a delight,” championing the band’s, “excellent, heightened atmospheric jaunts,” while No Clean Singing notes, “Though you can feel the bass and the drums in a very physical and earthy way, the music equally has an evanescent, ephemeral quality, almost like imagining the northern lights cascading overhead while your feet are firmly planted in solid ground. That contrast appears in the vocals as well, which move between soaring angelic tones and ugly, abrasive snarls and shrieks. Almost transcendentally beautiful, but heavy and haunting too.”
For more insights on Varaha’s EP, read Varaha's Interview with Toilet Ov Hell.