Polish pagan black metal quartet Varmia are ready to issue their third full-length in four years later this spring with Bal Lada. Recorded live in a 19th-century manor in Poland, the album showcases Varmia’s recognizable sound, one that they hone further on songs like “Upperan,” which features an appearance by Polish singer Jagna.
Jagna’s vocals add another layer to those provided by guitarist and main vocalist Lasota, matching the slower, discordant parts of “Upperan.” Musically, Varmia combine black metal with traditional folk instruments—like the goat horn and tagelharpa, a Scandinavian string instrument—in a way that rises and falls in energy and extremity.
“An ecstatic dance of flames as they devour the flesh,” Varmia tell Decibel about the song. “To disassemble the bones to leave the soul naked in the cold. Nothing brighter than the burning pyre. Nothing colder than the stone stained with the stream of blood. ‘Upperan’ in ancient Prussian language means ‘sacrifice.’ We performed the song at the castle where such stone still stands. Deep in the ground, veiled by the numbness of the centuries. Yet still pulsing with its coldness. It conducted these tones.”
Listen to “Upperan” below. Bal Lada is out March 12 on M-Theory.