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The spirit lives - 76%

Felix 1666, March 20th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2003, CD, Undercover Records

The first leads of the intro are arriving like ponderous waves, and only a pale light shimmers through the cloudy sky. Vargsang's debut conveys the spirit of black metal right from the beginning. However, don't be fooled by the slow-moving intro. Already the next track accelerates the pace. Nevertheless, the dense atmosphere remains. "Call of the Nightwolves" does not put the focus on a very differentiated production. Instead, all instruments and the raw, throaty voice build a strong unit that relies on the permanently flowing guitar lines. The skimpy melodies are committed to the recipe of second wave black metal. The dark forests of Scandinavia are omnipresent, while one-man army Vargsang expresses the loneliness of a hermit and the anger of a misanthrope as well. In the event that Grim Reaper himself listens to the album, voluntarily or not, he can rest assured. No sun rays or any other signs of life disturb the mood of this debut.

The constant flow of the well produced guitars does not affect the dynamism of the album. "Grave by the Oak" is a good example for a song that combines dynamic elements with intensive guitars in a clever way. But it might be misleading to emphasize specific songs. The album works as a whole. The listener finds neither throwaway tracks nor brilliant highlights. Vargsang has a clear vision and with regard to the fact that he has no companions, he does not need to make bad compromises. Malicious tongues will claim that this album is dominated by monotony, but I beg to differ. Principally speaking, pure black metal is never monotonous. Furthermore, Vargsang's songs sound authentic and exciting, because he finds the right balance between harmonies and brutality. Finally, I appreciate the total absence of pompous elements. Orchestral sounds are not compatible with bloodthirsty black metal and the same applies to any form of campfire romanticism and acoustic guitars.

As far as I can see, the lyrics deliver the usual poetry of the sub genre. The artist concentrates on occult, anti-religious and mystic topics without providing a link to true events. (By contrast, the third album refers to Albert Fish. After having written the review for "Werewolf of Wysteria", I was informed that this title was a synonym for this psychopathic asshole. This designation is too rude? Well, then I quote the sick guys of Macabre: Albert was worse than any fish in the sea.) The booklet tells us that the album is packed with "hateful black metal" and I agree, although the remaining text, a declaration of war against "gothic black metal kiddies", tempts the listener to pay more attention to these nutcases than they deserve.

The absence of surprising breaks does not mean that the songs lack of depth or substance. They invite the audience on a journey to the dark centre of his soul. Multi-instrumentalist Vargsang has created simple tunes which distinguish themselves by clear structures and the purity of the compositional approach. Okay, this is no monumental, groundbreaking or breathtaking work, but it keeps the blazing flame of raw black metal alive. The spirit of "Call of the Nightwolves" is more important than spectacular musical refinements.

Old School. - 72%

Perplexed_Sjel, November 11th, 2007

Vargsang are a very much old school day in the modern era. Their German anthems of hatred remind me of early Darkthrone. In terms of vocals, those repetitive riffs and the atmosphere Vargsang portray. Thankfully, it's early Darkthrone they remind me of and not what we're accustomed to hearing these days by the Norwegian outfit. Let's face it, they've past it. However, Vargsang haven't and this style of old school meets modern day black metal is very much up and running. If anything, it's yet to hit it's prime.

Vargsang are typical old school style. They pick repetition and atmosphere other everything else, and for them, it works. Their style is described as raw black metal and that is exactly what it is. Thankfully, it's not like the majority of bands in it's genre. 'Call of the Nightwolves', although brief, is a melodic outburst of noise by a German group willing and able to spread the word of hatred and misanthropy, as their lyrical themes suggest. Their style is very primitive, but not entirely. In terms of production, this isn't a lo-fi chainsaw affair. The production isn't exactly clear, but it's harsh. It sounds like Vargsang want it to. Raw and uncompromising. It's perfectly suited to Vargsang, even though everything does begin to turn into a mesh of noise. There are times when the percussion element can take over. The blast beats don't allow movement within the ranks. Therefore musical expression can be limited.

This doesn't necessarily mean 'Call of the Nightwolves' is poor. It isn't. It's just restricted in terms of innovation. But the more you think about it, the more you realise Vargsang aren't about innovation through adventure. It's about innovation through a simple raw dynamic sound old Darkthrone would be proud of. Those repetitive bass lines can be heard, for once. The riffs are melodic and flowing like the clouds in the sky. The vocals are typical rasping style vocals. They add depth to the hatred fizzing around in the atmosphere, but don't necessarily inspire. 'Call of the Nightwolves' is an attempt to bring the good old days back and although it doesn't quite turn out that way, it's a brief memory of what black metal's fanbase once used to enjoy.

picking up the pieces - 90%

mutiilator, April 13th, 2004

The demise of Graven was unfortunate, but imminent. I remember in their final studio album, entitled Perished and Forgotten, they stated: "This is Graven's final recording in that kind of too clear and unraw sound." But instead of carrying on in the production-vein of their demo, the band called it quits all together. Vargsang basically picks up where Graven left off: relatively simple black metal with great riffing. The music follows the Darkthone path in the fact that the drumming is meant to be simplistic, supporting and complimenting the music without detracting from it. Therefore the majority of it is either blast beats or mid-paced in the slower sections. The guitar sound and riffing is excellent as was seen with Graven, and carried over by Vargsang. When it all coalesces, it creates some killer black metal the way it should be - pummeling, but with killer melodic riffs and sick vokills.

Two bloody thumbs up.

Kult Malicous Prototypical Black Metal - 74%

Danthrax_Nasty, January 2nd, 2004

Well after leaving Graven, which was a two man band, Varsang takes all aspects of his music under his lone dark view. Released by Undercover Records and recorded in the winter of 2002, this is one fine fucking release.The layout of this album is a bit vague and yet typical for the genre, the cover being a picture of Vargsang, and theres one more pic in the insert (also a cool howling wolf pic is in the insert and on the cd) but other than that its all just black and white. Written inside the booklet is an amusing quote "Fuck Off To All Gothic Black Metal Kiddies! You'll Never Be A Part Of Us!" which pretty much says it all for the image/ideals of this man and this band.
The intro starting off this album is a raw full chorded riff done in an old school almost Dissection esque type of progression. The drums which follow it are produced fairly well considering the music style but all in all are very pummeling. Short and to the point, this is a typical yet killer way to kick into the coming hate.
As the intro drops off in to silence the next songs rolls in and is utterly satanic, barbaric blackmetal. A simplistic and brutal arpegio type riff is the first you hear of My Dark Hateful Spirit, which is soon followed by a few other riffs as the song goes on.
Each song has its individual sound and is none to monotonous even after many listens. The distortion used on this album is the same through out, and the sound of the band really doesnt differ to drasticly.
I wont go into each song cause this album is not exactly ground breaking and to say its Kult Black Metal and thats its certainly worth a listen is all you need to know. Album high-lights is most notably "Through Frost Covered Moors" and "Deathgate To Eternal Life". On the strength of this album alone I would device to say the next album should slay.