Arizona Power Metal Band VARKAN signs with Metal Assault Records for ‘Butcher’ Cassette Release
Another Tuesday, another new signing announcement! Metal Assault Records is stoked to reveal its newest signing, a righteously exciting power metal band from Phoenix, Arizona.
Metal Assault Records first got introduced to VARKAN purely based on the strength of their self-released 2019 self-titled debut effort, which deemed itself to be an instant classic in many ways, highlighting all that is sonically great about power metal, whilst showcasing an abundance of energy, technicality, and most strikingly, the band’s own distinct creative flavor which sets them apart from the hordes of NWOBHM / power metal revivalist bands.
Hot on the heels of this superb debut, VARKAN has now signed onto MAR for their next release, Butcher, featuring two brand new tracks. The title song, which also boasts a guest guitar solo by Jeff Potts (Mantic Ritual, ex-Warbringer) on Side A, and “Fire & Blood” on Side B. Butcher will be released on limited-edition cassette tape and digital download on May 7. Pre-orders will be launched on March 5, along with the title song premiere, on the Varkan bandcamp store. We are hereby pleased to reveal the cover artwork for Butcher, created by Varkan guitarist/vocalist Alec Damiano.
Hailing from the Arizona desert, Varkan combines elements of NWOBHM, thrash, and extreme metal to create hard-hitting, melodic, and technical power metal. The Phoenix power-thrashers deliver theatrical, high-energy performances that hearken back to the glory days of heavy metal.
Varkan was formed in 2014 by lead singer/guitarist Alec Damiano and drummer Michael Rodriguez. The band released the demo “Back to the Butcher” in 2015. The following year, guitarist Dominic Scarano and bassist Salvador Barragan joined the fold, and the “Filthy Human Race” demo was released.
In 2019, the band independently released their debut album, Varkan. The self-titled effort, mastered by Fredrik Nordstrom, garnered the band an international audience, including a direct distribution deal in Japan. The year ended with the band opening for Grammy nominees and thrash legends Death Angel, where Varkan’s “Butcher” mascot was introduced in a live setting.
The band competed in the Phoenix edition of the 2020 Wacken Metal Battle and won first place. With live shows brought to a halt that summer, the band hit the studio and recorded two new tracks, “Butcher” and “Fire & Blood”.
Varkan signed with Metal Assault Records in 2021. The band is in the process of writing their sophomore album and seeks to set the metal world on fire with their catchy, but nonetheless heavy, fist-pumping tunes.
Varkan band photo credit: Arianna Grainey