The death metal outfit from Germany, VARG, have a career spanning over ten years. Fit for battle with a new offering, VARG have unleashed their EP Götterdämmerung. Describing themselves as ‘wolf metal’, but showing elements of death, folk, and pagan in their material over the years, VARG have developed a strong fan base over the years. Progressing over their career from a more traditional pagan metal to what they have become today, how does this EP fare up in a sub-genre that’s only grown in popularity over the years?
The four-track EP opens with the title track, which greets you with heavy drums and vocalist Freki’s furious harsh vocals. Following the likes of AMON AMARTH, VARG deliver melodic death metal with strong backing vocals and crushing riffs from Managarm and Hati. Right off the bat, you can tell that Götterdämmerung is a strong record, and the crisp production only enhances the EP.
Hel follows with aggressive tremolo guitar, before “Nehmt euch in Acht!” bellows from the band and more incredibly heavy riffs take charge. The chorus of Hel Is one of the catchiest of the EP, and overall is possibly the strongest track. Galloping guitars and addictive leads accompany the catchy chorus with Freki pulling off fantastically suited growls and almost maniacal spoken sections. Wasting literally no time after the ferocity of Hel, Beissesreflex is a track laden with chugging riffs and backing guitar from Hati and Managarm. Solid drum support and bass lines from Fenrier and Skoll tie the track together brilliantly, becoming brutal and oddly uplifting. It’s also a really nice touch that the band’s lyrics are all in German, as it adds a cultural aspect to the EP (even though the lyrical content is lost) and therefore makes it even more interesting.
The EP ends with Knochenpfad, which starts off with a rough spoken word section before exploding with Freki’s vocals and a strong riff pattern. Hopefully, English translations can be provided for this EP as it would surely only add to the flavour to know what each track is about, and especially what the spoken word section in this track is mentioning. Knochenpfad is ridiculously heavy, with drums from Fenrier taking the forefront before giving way to Skoll delivering a thick bass line under Freki’s malevolent low vocals. This quickly shifts to the chorus, the impact of which is only amplified by more chugging riffs and a face-melting tremolo solo to finish the EP off.
Overall, Götterdämmerung is a blast. It’s a dark, heavy, and fast EP with the cultural addition of German lyrics. While there is a language barrier for us Brits, that doesn’t hinder the EP’s impact in the slightest as you’ll still find yourself humming parts of the tracks, especially Hel’s chorus, for quite some time afterwards. After developing their sound after quite some time, VARG are at their strongest with Götterdämmerung, and clearly still have a lot to offer. Definitely one to watch, VARG could continue to bring more fans into their pack for quite some time.
Götterdämmerung is out now via Napalm Records.
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