Vargsang - _Call of the Nightwolves_
(Undercover Records, 2003)
by: Matthias Noll (8 out of 10)
For those familiar with German underground black metallers Graven, the description of _Call of the Nightwolves_ doesn't require much more elaboration than saying that it sounds exactly like Graven with a rawer sound and slightly better songs. Looking at the line-up this is hardly surprising, because Vargsang (the band) is the one man show of Graven's former main songwriter Vargsang. Musically this is pure, keyboardless, mostly Norwegian-sounding black metal, delivered with a very Teutonic sense of order and structure when it comes to breaks and tempo changes. Unsurprisingly one finds that monotony is consciously used to achieve hypnotic effects, but Vargsang prescribe small doses of that, slowing down or speeding up at the right point in time. They fortunately avoid making the same mistake as, for example, Godless North, who allow their _Transylvanian Hunger_ worship to turn into boredom quite frequently. There is little if any originality at all to be found on _Call of the Nightwolves_; what makes me recommend this album and even give it an 8 out of 10 is the high quality level which is kept throughout the 37 minutes, as well as the fact that -- even though I hear a little Euronymous here and a bit of Darkthrone there -- this doesn't sound like a rip-off. Perhaps I am in a somewhat conservative mindset right now that leads me to prefer a fine execution of a tried and tested formula rather than the abysmal travesties that an unstoppable desire to be original and groundbreaking can produce. But in times when former black metal icons like Satyricon recycle bridge sections Voivod might have used on a bad day in 87/88 and repeat them over and over again until another seven minute borefest is complete and gets a song title, I enjoy bands like Vargsang more than ever!

Contact: http://www.undercover-records.de

(article published 11/5/2003)


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