Varg - Das Ende aller LügenAnybody out there feeling a little less than blessed and possessed after last year’s Powerwolf release? Well, not too long ago I caught another pack of wolves sniffing around the AMG headquarters and being the old softy I am, I let them stay a spell. Turns out they’re an interesting lot. Varg‘s first full-length—a combination of melodic metal reminiscent of  Graveworm, mixed with Ensiferum folksiness and Frosttide melody—hit the shelves back in 2007, fronted by Sebastian “Geri” Feick. This formula didn’t last, with Geri moving on, leaving Phillip “Freki” Seiler and Timo “Managarm” Schwämmlein (of Sintech fame) to handle Varg‘s vocal duties. By the time Guten Tag found its way onto the shelves, these wolves were forcefully fighting the sting of being labelled gothcore and blatant neglect of good dynamics. The arrival of 2016 finds the tides turning for Varg, now signed to Napalm Records. Das Ende aller Lügen (The End of All Lies) is here and with it Varg presents their latest direction—one encouraging impulsivity, unpredictability, revelry and brute force. All packaged in nice, bright red war paint.

Das Ende aller Lügen gets off to an interesting start, kicking off with “Der große Diktator,” which translates to The Great Dictator. Behind the atmosphere of menace and the delicate background music, an excerpt plays out from the 1940s American satirical political comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, scored by and starring Charlie Chaplin. As the song comes to a close, and a tyrannical Dictator ends off his impassioned speech, you’re left with this: “Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!” This is an intelligent start to an album and it hooked me into listening to the rest of Das Ende aller Lügen.

The tracks that follow are catchy and packed with revelry, as promised. However, as a combined effort they end up a definitive guide to who’s-who in European metal. “Das Ende aller Lügen” hints at the catchiness of Avatar. “Revolution” begins slowly, but soon crests with a thrashtastic Kreator wave made for windmilling hair and that’ll probably be responsible for a circle pit or two when the band takes this show on the road. “Streyfzug” (or Ramble) begins with what sounds like the intro to The Troggs “Wild Thing,” before moving into territory carved out by melodic metallers Parasite Inc. “Achtung” (or Danger) launches with angle grinder sharpness that brings to mind Satan’s Wrath, before picking up once again with the neue Deutsche härte (or new German hardness) synonymous to scene frontrunners, Rammstein. “Einherjer” is a return to a mix of Satan’s Wrath and Parasite Inc with moments of melody akin to modern era In Flames.

Apart from “Achtung” being such a noticeable and memorable anthem, it’s around “Totentanz” where things really get shaken up. Roughly translated, “Totentanz” means Dance of Death or the Danse Macabre, a phrase referring to the late-medieval allegory on the universality of death “no matter one’s station in life, the Dance of Death unites all.” Opening up with some remarkable similarities to Celtic Frost‘s “Danse Macabre” the track moves on to showcase an Avatar-like catchiness behind the vocals of Anna Murphy (Eluveitie). Vocally, Anna’s charming chants contrast to Freki and or Managarm’s core-ish screams, and the track would fit well alongside Eluveitie‘s “Havoc” released with Helvetios. “Ascheregen” brings Das Ende aller Lügen to a schizophrenic, sobering and destructive Katatonia-paced close.

Varg 2016

Das Ende aller Lügen has a bombastic, modern sound quality that hits you bluntly. What disappoints me is the one-dimensional feel that creeps in from Varg‘s brick-walled master. Moments that should sound mighty don’t hit their mark, and soft intricacies are just lost in the brutality of it all. Contrasting vocals are the name of the game on this album, though, and that sound works. Vocally, Freki and Managarm punish listeners with a mix of metalcore screams and clean singing which, despite being in German, prove pretty catchy; try not to chant along with “Achtung.” Freki and Managarm’s vocals are big, loud and passionate. Instrumentally, Varg are able to take you from fist-pumping to somber on a single track. The instrumentation is tight and balanced, showing good band chemistry. Each song comes wrapped in compelling guitar solos that stand out as short, catchy and well-delivered, driven together with well-timed and interesting fills and drum lines.

Love or hate the core-like vocals or the fact that like Avatar‘s Black Waltz and Hail the Apocalypse or Deathstars The Perfect Cult, Das Ende aller Lügen is packed with 10 tracks all well under the 5-minute mark that are catchy as hell and probably a bit too radio friendly for their own good. These blunders, along with the crushed dynamics, are be the album’s biggest downfall. As a whole I’ve enjoyed Das Ende aller Lügen far more than I ever expected to. That said, I’m off to give “Achtung” another spin!


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: varg.de | facebook.com/vargofficial
Releases Worldwide: January 15th, 2015

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  • Daniele Cerin

    I listened to previous albums of the band but they were really all pretty similar… and this sounds the same.

    I’ll pass this time

  • Napalm signs the weirdest bands. Not like weird weird, but like “why?” weird.

    • Yeah, I don’t get their selection process. The Napalm and related band thing was something I wanted to highlight.

  • Stefunal

    It’s the lyrics that kill me. Since I don’t speak English on a native level, they usually don’t bother me. But I do speak German fluently, and in this case that fact makes this band not just embarrassing, but outright unlistenable for me.

    • Dion Ka

      Same here. I normally don’t give a fuck about lyrics but these are horrible.

    • You wot m8?

      Monolingual me would like you to elaborate…

      • Stefunal

        “I’m breaking loose / I don’t trust this life / Don’t wanna participate / scolding I spit blood and fire”

        Some random fragment I chose from the metal-archives-page of the last album because I didn’t care enough to actually listen to something they released. In general, those guys use incredibly pathetic metaphors only they seem to understand, mash them together and put in some everyday phrases completely out of context just to make it rhyme. It’s hard to translate, but literally everything they sing sounds horribly, horribly wrong.

        Moments like these really make me feel sympathy for you native English speakers who are forced to endure some German/Swedish/insert other nation band violating their ears with bad lyrics.

        • You wot m8?

          Yeah, weak lyrics are probably the worst thing that can happen to a decent band. Those diamond-in-the-rough bands that sound a bit off but have great writing are much more listenable than these bands that waste musical talent on poor ideas.

        • Brian

          You probably won’t believe me but the vast majority of lyrics from Germanic-language countries are gramatically sound and they were even 20 years ago. Niklas Sundin’s lyrics would baffle Oxford professors.

          Evile, on the other hand, uff! Englishmen yet they sing “TO THAT I’ve no desire” in ‘Eternal Empire’? Ugh, painful! (should be “for that”, fyi)

          • Stefunal

            Maybe people try harder when writing in a foreign language? I could imagine that.

    • Worldeater

      I concur. After listening to the track i´m glad most of today´s extreme metal lyrics are written in English. The music is ok(ish) but i would prefer Heaven Shall Burn – Deaf To Our Prayers any time over this…

      • Grymm

        “Trespassing the Shores of Your World” FTW! m/

    • In this case you can in fact get both. They’ve made both a German and an English version of the album.

      • Stefunal

        So that native English speakers can share the sheer bliss of agonizing ears too, apparently.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Other way round maybe :)

          • Stefunal

            Whoops, wrong usage of vocabulary. I thought that “to share” actually meant recieving something from sharing :)
            Just put in “experience” and it will be allright.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            No man your english is awesome. I mean that Germans can listen to the English version to be spared the pain of understanding and vis versa…:)

          • Stefunal

            Whoah. THAT might be the reason…

        • That sounds like the modus operandi, unless Carlos’ theory is correct. Perhaps they should have done it in some silly universal language like Volapük, hence practically no one would understand the lyrics.

          • Stefunal

            They really should consider playing Zeuhl with those writing skills.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I can’t see the word Totentanz and not immediately think of Coroner. My brain instantly activates the chorus riff for that song, which is now stuck in my head. I am fine with this.

    Great review Madam! These guys qre probably a cool live band but you’d never catch me listening to them seriously.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Interesting that they’re coopting the Turisas body paint colours.

  • Pimpolho

    I was looking forward for this album, for i really liked the single. Great review, Mada; i hope i will like it too.

  • Reese Burns

    This was a good review, but I just wanted to say I love what you did with the site logo, a great tribute.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I enjoyed Wolskult but I don’t think I’ve really got time for this one… I’m still listening to a stack of stuff from last years lists.

    Good to see you giving Trivium some respect with your logo…

  • Grymm

    Holy Heaven Shall Burn, Batman!

    • Anon a mouse

      Same thought I had. Except I feel HSB has a little more than these guys.

  • Thanks Madam X, will check this one out. I want to add that these guys are very fun to watch live.

  • Tardsmat

    So did they steal Turisas’ Facepaint or the other way around?