Specializing in a thick, bruising strain of metalcore, Philadelphia combo Varials rode a pair of tightly crafted D.I.Y. EPs to a deal with Fearless Records in the mid-2010s. Their 2017 debut, Pain Again, put up big numbers on the streaming platforms and helped pave the way for their 2019 follow-up, In Darkness.
Singer Jared Pilieri, guitarists James Hohenwarter and Shane Lyons, bassist Mike Foley, and drummer Sean Rauchut formed Varials in 2012, having all been players in the Philadelphia hardcore and metal scenes over the previous years. Following a 2013 single, "Trapped," they self-released their debut EP, Recollection, after which Pilieri was ousted from the group and replaced by the similarly ragged-voiced Travis Tabron, who made his debut on 2015's Failure//Control EP. A fan base began to assemble around Varials' cathartic live shows and recordings.
After 2016's Absolution, a split EP with Delaware band Vicious Embrace, they landed a contract with Fearless Records, which issued the full-length Pain Again in 2017. A critical success that also notched significant online streams, their debut went a long way in establishing Varials on a wider scale. Not long after its release, guitarist Lyons departed and was replaced by Mitchell Rogers. Tours with bands like Wage War, Emmure, and Counterparts followed in advance of their sophomore LP, In Darkness, which appeared in late 2019. ~ Timothy Monger