Varga is a name you may remember from the late eighties/early nineties underground metal scene. One of their albums, Prototype, was a minor hit with the general public while finding itself a hidden gem over the years among metal enthusiasts. The band disbanded in 1998 and continued in music in various ways before finding their way to a reformation in 2012. Enter the Metal is an EP intended to reintroduce the band to the metal world and will be followed by a full length later this year.
Honestly, I vaguely remember these guys in name only. Enter the Metal has my full attention though, boasting some classic sounds that remind me at times of Annihilator, but always of the early Megadeth and very early Metallica vibe that all metal fans crave. “Gamera” is the best example of this with bombastic, but progressive, lead guitars and snarly vocals. Not to mention the seven plus minute epic nature of the beast. “No More Clean Air” is another highlight among highlights. It’s got a snarky, punk attitude that collides with a chugging, plodding rhythm. Opening track, “Beginning of the End” is another excellent moment announcing the band’s return with thrashy guitars and dynamic writing topped off by the sci-fi and horror inspired lyrics that dominate the EP. On this tune in particular, the bass is completely insane in the best way possible.
Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed. I didn’t really think twice when this crossed my desk but once I popped it in I found myself completely engaged. This sounds like the best parts of 1989 without all the tin can production sounds and cocky attitudes. If the full length is half as good as this then Varga will undoubtedly be every metal fans new favorite band. If you want to kick your 2014 off right, Varga’s Enter the Metal is the way to it!