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On disc: Varg

Blutaar - Mike Thompson - 8 stars


(Noise Art – 2010)

This is Varg's second full-length album, following 2007's Wolfszeit. They play an instantly recognizable style of folky black metal, sometimes called heathen metal, with lyrical themes about Norse mythology and Vikings. Sound similar? Yeah you've heard it all before but before you dismiss this band out of hand I urge you to actually give this album a listen.
The tone of the vocals are spot on, unlike the unrelenting hoarse style of contemporaries such as Equilibrium which just get on my nerves. Freki has a well rounded growl similar to Wintersun's Jari Mäenpää. Like other bands in the genre such as XIV Dark Centuries, Varg sing in their native German exclusively. Despite this the songs are sung with such spirit that they will even transport non-German speakers back to a time of brutal war and heroes.
It is easy to spot influences in Varg's songs, from fellow Teutonic 'heathen metal' bands like Menhir to the more 'battle metal' style of KromleK and Ensiferum. The guitars are typical of the genre but they have a good bite to them and really drive the music forward with some catchy riffs and melodies. The other great thing about this album is the drum sound which is great and absolutely pounding throughout.
I think with an album like this the rating of the album should reflect mainly one thing; enjoyment. Yes, I know this isn't the most original album I have ever heard but the quality is good and the production spot on in my mind. The most important thing though is that not once during this album did I feel bored or feel the need to skip a track. In fact every time it has finished I've just pressed play again! There are not many albums I can say really grab me this way from the very first listen, but Varg have released a corker here and every fan of this sort of style should buy this album.

8 stars

Mike Thompson


           ©2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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