Who would have thought that the RMR crew will cover the German metal band Varg one day? The ones from Bavaria, by the way. So, this is neither about their namesake from Freiburg nor about one Louis Cachet1) and his misdeeds in infamy.
Often caught in a whirlpool of some strange meandering brand of Metalcore2), Varg‘s former offerings never quite managed to convince the RMR crew. Sometimes they sounded a bit like modern-time Midgard, for crying out loud. Even if they have that knack for catchy melodies and choruses to dream for. And all of that at acceptable levels of cheese, which is quite a feat, I give them that.
But this may be about to change.
Zeichen (signs), the band’s newest video, really caught our attention. This time they changed tack and truly turned their faces toward the old gods3). Yo, Loki, you payin’ attention? New minions here.
The storyline is all about runes, Gaia, and the lore of the old gods. And for once the worn-out theme of metal-band-in-the-wilderness is spot on. The video catches the essence of the track perfectly without dwelling too much on stereotypes and overused symbolism. The crew managed to find just the right mix to move the clip along crisply without falling into the cheese trap. Even if parading children4) on a storyline of death and gore always struck me as slightly nauseous.
That said, Zeichen indeed seems to indicate a change of course. The track’s style best describes as some sort of blackened Pagan Metal. A strange blend of Finsterforst, Eluveitie, and a watery splash of Heilung. And with truly improved growling power to boot which is a major and welcome change right there. Oh, and did I just detect Chrigel Glanzmann5) and Einar Selvik from Wardruna beating up his drum? They’re always difficult to spot when they hide in plain sight.
And a word of caution, though. The band seems to pretend that their aim is some sort of Viking Metal. But for now, they are about as far removed from Amon Amarth as Feuerschwanz is from Medieval Metal. But hey, we don’t know the riches of the new album yet and our opinion may still change. Who knows?
Lastly, Varg declared that this is the start of a new era for the band. A courageous announcement by which they shall be judged, I guess. The RMR deck crew will be watching, and we may be back with more words.
So, here’s to Zeichen. A truly great clip. Enjoy!
|1.||Alias for Varg Vikernes, ex Burzum and Mayhem, church burner and killer of bandmates.|
|2.||So, I’ll get burned at the stake for calling them metal before by the purists. Again. Damn.|
|3.||Yeah, I know, they kinda invoked them before already.|
|4.||To prove what exactly?|
|5.||Of the aforementioned Eluveitie.|