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HARDWARES

VARGA

Enter The Metal

(Vargantuan Music)

Reviewed by : "Metal" Tim Henderson
Rating : 8.5

Full disclosure … VARGA and I grew up on the bad side of Hamilton mountain in the '90s when metal was on on the fence of being cool. Of course we all knew it was cool, and the band's label RCA/BMG believed it until Seattle (METAL CHURCH excluded) took matters down a different path. Varga ended up releasing two well-received albums in 1994 (Prototype) and 1996 (Oxygen).

Not certain how to term this return. Reunion? Well the band really never broke up … their paths have just crossed again as the planets have suddenly re-aligned after 13 years.

But get this straight, Varga are back in the game and make it no secret that their mission is 100% full-on aggressive power metal with plenty of thrash tendencies and the forward-thinking vision of band's like ATHEIST and CYNIC.

And its like the four-piece - Joe Varga (bass and vocals), Adam Alex (guitar), Sean Williamson (guitar), and Dan Fila (drums) - never left the garage! To The Metal is most certainly a lesson in the art of jamming, shredding, bashing and screaming for vengeance. Not that the lads are over the hill, but their youthful vitality is shocking. And yes, their influences shine, particularly IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA, and they proudly wear it on their sleeve.

Despite the fact that Enter The Metal is a re-working of old songs from an unreleased album that the band recorded before their major label deal, each track is its own riveting adventure, hardly dated, Varga in ultimate rebirth, kicking and screaming.

At times Varga's vision is a bit hard to follow (envision Jack Nicholson working through the labyrinth in The Shining), but you'll be able to find your way out, albeit a bit bruised and battered!




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