Vera : Actually Varang Nord happens to be the resurrection of a band called Balagury, active from 2004 till 2008. That’s how Varang Nord came into being in 2014 and in the same year they released the demo ‘Fire Of The North’. It was picked up by Metal Scrap Records and now presented as their first MCD/EP.
The six songs have melodic, mainly mid-paced, death metal as leading style, but the Viking heritage is so very obvious that we prefer to pigeonhole this as pagan metal. The five-piece hails from Latvia and they kick off in heavy galloping style during ‘Wild Hunt’. The low-pitched, raucous growls of guitarist Maxim ‘Wolf’ Popov have the nearest approach to those of Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth and actually their music can be compared with that band as well. But Varang Nord has a (female) accordionist in their ranks and that makes a difference. Vocal lines of most of the songs are promptly followed by the accordion of Alyona. That gives a personal touch for a while, but on the other hand it is a trick that soon gets boring. Fortunately there are also two tracks in which accordion is not so prominently present and the instrumental ‘Through A White Wasteland’ has an epic tinge. In the monotonous sung and not so flawless ‘All Men Poured Ale’ one can hear clean, sturdy Cossack chants and that is also the case in ‘Blood For Blood’. The production is sure-fire, so that the crystal-clear guitar sound feels kind of Scandinavian. In brief, this is a Latvian copy of Amon Amarth with accordion and a Slavonic flavour. We are not going to lose any sleep over it, but it is surely not bad either.