Varg
Blutaar

You just need to take one look at the some of this German band’s promotional shots of the band smeared in stylistic blood on front of fiery battle scene to guess the style this band play and their primary influences. Look no further than the likes of Turisas, Ensiferum, Falchion and such, though Varg is slightly harsher (at least vocally) and more rooted in melodic black metal.

Though still based on Viking/Pagan structures that bounce and gallop with familiar tones and chord progressions, Varg don’t rely on synths or cheesy Viking choirs and injections to carry their sounds as its strictly riff based (a la Amon Amarth) in conveying its manly Vikingness. Throw in some innate Teutonic, militant sternness (partly due to the lyrics being in German) that shies away from the more frolicking aspects of their peers and you have a pretty solid, if run of the mill example of the genre.

Of the 11 tracks only the intro “Wolfsmond”, short acoustic number “Nebelleben” and the start of “Seele” brings things down a notch from the generally up-tempo material as the likes of “Invictus”, “Zeichen der Zeit”, “Wilde Jagd” (with a decent little mid song acoustic flourish) and “Alter Feind”, blaze, rasp and march with enjoyable, melodic pagan furor, but to be honest, have little staying power. Vocalist Philipp “Freki” Seiler has a feral scream laced with an intermittent growl here and there, so don’t go looking for beer hall chants or arousing “oohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” segments, though the overall feel and tenacity of the album compared to their peers will still get Viking blood pumping.

Overall, a solid album, but not one that’s going to replace Turisas or Ensiferum when I’m in the need for some bouncy, epic viking metalic goodness.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 4th, 2010

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