Varials 'In Darkness' Album Review by Allyson Kingsley
Posted by NinaBRR on October 14 2019 03:17:46


In Darkness

Fearless Records

Released: October 11, 2019

Album Review by Allyson Kingsley, Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio


A little story, if you will bear with me. I had never been into the hardcore realm until recently when I met my husband and his friends. I've always traversed the realms of every other genre you can imagine in metal from hair metal to death, thrash, doom, and the most Satanic black metal you could ever possibly find. But I had honestly not heard hardcore. I cannot fully explain why I actually grew to love it. Perhaps it's the stories behind the camaraderie and brotherhood that exist in certain hardcore reals, examples being the Boston scene or NYHC. Or maybe it's the crossover that I hear in its rhythms into thrash or sometimes tinged of death metal. And for all intents and purposes of the hardcore genre, I fucking absolutely love the breakdowns. Those breakdown riffs move you and I mean MOVE. I have seen some bedlam in the hardcore shows' pits but then there is the sense of being la familia, a family.


On to the Varials a hardcore quintet from Philadelphia, supposedly the city of brotherly love. I'm not so sure that any city can earn that reputation in the extremely volatile times we live in presently. Varials are Travis Tabron [vocals], Mitchell Rogers [guitar], James Hohenwarter [guitar], Sean Rauchut [drums], and Mike Foley [bass]. Having formed in 2013 they have worked hard, toured with Wage WarOceans Ate Alaska, Kublai Khan, and Emmure among others. Varials will be touring this fall with Counterparts, Stray From The Path, Chamber, and Dying Wish.


In Darkness is simply stated pure brutality. It is an album drenched in the stress and grind of life. It speaks of pain and agony and trying to find the will and the strength to carry on in spite of what holds you down. Savage vocals deliver the reality of afflictions we experience. Check out the hauntingly simple track entitled (fear) with its spoken lyrics that captures the feeling thoroughly:


"Wound, I suffocate, in darkness, bleeding...

All based from fear

All the result of simple, old-fashioned fear

You see, because when it grips

It holds you so fucking tight

You start to notice your own breathing

All the sudden it’s off-rhythm

You become aware of your own fucking sweat

And it’s all cold

Just thought you should know."


My personal choice song is "South of One." I find it really grasps how I felt when I lost all hope and belief in a higher being. The whole of In Darkness undoubtedly hooks you with its theme of anger and takes you captive with extremely heavy breakdown riffs.




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