‘Wolf metal’ takes a turn for the fantastical at the hands of VARG’s ‘Rotkäppchen’.
Contemplate fledgling concept ‘wolf metal’ and the mental image of canine dominance and menace suitably demonstrates a visual representation of VARG’s ‘Rotkäppchen’, otherwise known as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. Hinged on a fairytale of innocence and concealed evils, it’s ironically significant that VARG are the antithesis of innocent and most definitively open in their intimidation.
At the nucleus of VARG’s appeal is their eccentric use of horns and string accompaniments to bulk up a somewhat polka-esque melody to soften the blow of frontman Freki’s livid utterances, while add devilish charm to the optimism of ‘pirate metal’. Not ones for elaborate schemes unlike the wolf, the German bruisers lay their devastating intentions out in the open with ‘Rotkäppchen’, swiftly paving the way for January’s release of their full-length effort ‘Das Ende aller Lügen’, also under the expert eye of Napalm Records.
Opening on the 2015 production of the title track, the optimistic chaos of its instrumental content plunges the infamous folklore into a frenzy of swashbuckling mosh. Strengthened by the madcap contrast of optimistic keyboard artistry, VARG emerge as a tight outfit, and rightly so given their eleven year longevity. Compounded by masterful fretwork and voluminous gang vocals, ‘Ein Tag Wie Heute’ stands its ground with enough turbulent vocal fury to rival a wolf in sheep’s clothing on any given day.
The energetic contagion of English version ‘Red Riding Hood’ presents a menacing narrative with a twist, as the unadulterated bloodlust soon turns to a marvellously unexpected debate on sausages. If you didn’t know “there are over 3 million types of sausage in the town of Milton Keynes alone” before, you do now. Of all the things you’d hope to glean from VARG, the meaty discussion proves the most unlikely but certainly the most lingering. Should you ever feel like swaggering down to Tortuga and clinking glasses with the infamous grandma-esque wolf, there’s even a karaoke version thrown in for good measure.
Witty, endearing and artistic in equal measure, VARG are a sonic pleasure to behold when creativity seems to fall by the wayside in an arena of doppelgängers.
Track Listing: Rotkäppchen 2015, Ein Tag Wie Heute, Abendrot, Red Riding Hood, Rodhette, Rotkäppchen 2011, Rotkäppchen 2015 (Karaoke), Rotkäppchen im Bierzelt.
Philipp ‘Freki’ Seiler – Vocals & Guitar
Timo ‘Managarm’ Schwämmlein – Vocals, Bass & Lead Guitar
Patrick ‘Hati’ Zarske – Guitar
Silester ‘Fenrier’ Grundmann – Drums