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Varg - "Das Ende Aller Lügen" (CD)

Varg - "Das Ende Aller Lügen" CD cover image

"Das Ende Aller Lügen" track listing:

1. Der große Diktator (The Great Dictator)
2. Das Ende aller Lügen (The End Of All Lies)
3. Revolution
4. Streyfzug
5. Achtung
6. Dunkelheit (Darkness)
7. Totentanz (The Dance of Death)
8. Einherjer
9. Wintersturm (Winterstorm)
10. Ascheregen (Rain of Ash)

Reviewed by on January 6, 2016

"As it turns out, this is by far the most diverse and engaging release from Varg in its ten year history."

Up until 2015, you could have literally played any Varg album and I would have never batted an eye or lifted a fist in honor. The German war machine has always been solid, just nothing that gave me a good reason to get overly enthusiastic. Flirting the lines between pagan/Viking metal, metalcore and punk, Varg was always a much more fun live band than studio act. Enter “The End of All Lies”….and for whatever reason everything seems to click.

Is it that it’s so dramatically different, or is it that my tolerance level is so wide open? That’s up for debate…but what isn’t is that this set of overly infectious songs extends the band’s influential range much wider – adding female vocals, gothic elements, even deeper Viking roots, symphonic and rhythmic beats (which echoes a techno feel absent electronics) to the punk and black/death metal roots. The combination proves highly successful, especially when you throw in the fact that the album was recorded in both English and German…so at least now we can all sing along!

I’ll say it outright – if you abhor repetitious beats then this will likely not appeal to you. In my older dumbed down years, I’ve gravitated towards repetition for its ability to hook me in and make me move. On the other hand “The End of all Lies” does have so much more at work here, and the unpredictability in its variety might present valuable appeal to fans. Thrown in the mix is Freki’s vocal style, which sounds a bit like Tom Angelripper on “Get What you Deserve.”

So let’s sort it all out now. Right from the start, the eerie intro “The Great Dictator” calls out all world leaders who lie and stamp out the people. It drifts into the album’s charging anthem and title track “The End of All Lies,” a prototypical Varg track filled with venom, spite, and total punk attitude. The real melody starts to kick in on “Revolution,” a phenomenal thrash-based crusher (immediately rings a Destruction tone) before the sing-a-long bridge that explodes into one of the best choruses on the album (“We are the revolution”). Highlighting its freakishly catchy chorus, “Streyfzug” brings in some clean vox to mix with Freki’s grating tones. “Darkness”is a raging headbanger that offers up some heavy slabs of meaty riffs. “Winterstorm” is a full on black metal assault…not surprising given the title.

The three tracks that really stand out are “The Dance of Death,” a highly repetitive but engaging number featuring a duet between Freki and the great Anna Murphy of Eluveitie, the epic Viking style hymn “Einherjer” (not to be confused with Norweigian Viking metal act of the same name) and the pseudo power ballad “Rain of Ash.” “Einherjer” is anchored by a chest/sword beating Viking choir chorus surrounded by the blackened blast beats of the verses. At 2:30, you can see just how great this tune will sound in a live setting. “Rain of Ash” is nearly all clean vocals, a refreshing relief from Freki’s growls, which start to sound like nails on a chalkboard if taking the entire album in on one full listen.

If not for the nudging of a good friend, I may have completely passed over “The End of All Lies.” As it turns out, this is by far the most diverse and engaging release from Varg in its ten year history. With newly incorporated elements, the German death machine is ready for the future and to expand its fanbase. It truly is “The End of All Lies.”

Highs: Newly incorporated elements like symphonic, female vox and clean vocal lines, this is the most engaging Varg album ever.

Lows: Freki's vocals are cool, but can get real grating if not heard in moderation.

Bottom line: Varg puts an "End to All Lies" with its best album ever.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)