Thursday, November 29, 2012

Varg-Guten Tag

NoiseArt Records

It's Thursday, or as my friend Jeremy (former lead singer of The Approach and The Execution) likes to say "It's Thor'sday!", so what better way to celebrate the fact that the weekend is almost upon us then with some viking metal! Varg, which means "wolf" in both Swedish and Norwegian, is a German pagan metal band that was formed back in 2005. This is the band's forth full-length studio album and, as the lyrics are not in English, I'll just have to assume that this is all about vikings, sword fighting,drinking plenty of strong ale, etc. That being the case (having no clue whatsoever what these guys are talking about here!) let's just focus on the music. That is easy enough to do as this some fairly "interesting" metal and, even more so, a unique take on the pagan metal genre. Where to start with these sword wielding maniacs? Well, from the start this is Viking metal at it's roots, but it's also a little punk, a little thrash, a little black metal, a little traditional heavy metal and a whole lot of attitude. Starting with the punk rock, as good a place to start as any, and one need only listen to Varg for a few minutes to hear the sounds of bands like the Dropkick Murphys and/or Flogging Molly. As with most folk/pagan/viking bands there is always that strong sense that very little separates the two genres (pagan/folk verses folk/punk) other then the volume level. With Varg though it seems as if the desire was to create a folk edge without the traditional folk instruments so it does give them a bit more of a traditional metal edge. Onward and we get to enjoy parts that point toward thrash and black metal. When they want Varg offer pagan metal that sounds all the world like severely hard and heavy blackened thrash with old school metal riffs. I'm not going to say that this is first place a thrash geared album though. These guys obviously have their swords pointed high up to their Norse gods. There is always some folk rocking out in the background and, even in German, you can tell that Varg want to pillage and plunder. If you tweaked these gents though you could almost get off with calling them power metal though so, even if it is not even 9am yet, I can't help but want to raise a pint in their honor for giving the world of metal a album that is certainly heavy and worthy of a few devil horns!

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