After last year’s hugely successful fifth album ‘Das Ende aller Lügen’, German Pagan Melodic Death Metallers Varg are once again getting straight down to business with their latest 4-track EP entitled ‘Götterdämmerung’. It’s all killer and absolutely no filler from start to finish.
The first point to note is that whilst their most recent album took a new, heavily political direction, it’s evident from the cover art and song titles alone that the new EP returns to their Pagan roots, focussing particularly on Norse Folklore. Translating the German lyrics into English, there is particular focus on the telling of ferocious battles between mortals and gods from the human perspective.
Not wasting any time, opening track ‘Götterdämmerung’ gets straight to the point with energetic, heavy, blastbeat-laden Melodic Death, whilst ‘Hel’ cranks up the tempo to a frantic pace and the relentless melodic guitar riffs are so hooky they’ll be stuck in your head for some time afterwards.
Slowing the tempo down slightly for the second half, ‘Beißreflex’ invites the listener to find their true, primal instinct – their “wild blood”. The song may be mid-tempo but it doesn’t miss a beat where ferocity is concerned.
To close the EP, ‘Knochenpfad’ begins with an atmospheric intro featuring German language narration about the age old legend of “anyone who seeks the way to hell” having to be completely “without fear”. They follow the bone path, pay the ferryman and leave the land of the living to the learn the secrets of the dead.
Varg have slowed the tempo right down for this one, matching the dark, ominous subject matter perfectly. It’s atmospheric, tells a fantastic story and is a fitting way to end this musical journey through ‘Götterdämmerung’.
Sonically, this EP continues where ‘Das Ende…’ left off, with an impressively slick yet not over-produced output, emphasising the booming bass tones to the crisp highs and everything in between. It’s evident that their switch to Napalm Records in 2015 was for the better and with the improved production and reinvigorated energy the band now possesses, it’s clear that the band are making strides after forming an alliance with the label.
Varg’s followers shouldn’t be disappointed with this release, especially the fans that are chomping at the bit for more of their Pagan origins. Anyone who likes Melodic Death Metal, particularly if it has with a Norse/Viking theme (I admit that I drew musical comparisons to Amon Amarth) is urged to listen to this EP – I highly doubt you’ll regret it.
Bottom line, it’s fantastic and I’ll be playing it on rotation for a while!
LYRIC VIDEO: VARG – ‘Götterdämmerung’