Label: Mighty Music
Release Date: 11 March 2022
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
Vanir brings to you, their sixth album, entitled “Sagas” and this one is a mighty Viking, melodic death metal fusion akin to a flint setting off a bomb of interwoven layers of equally brutal kick-ass music set with equally lyrical melodic brilliance.
For this 6th album, the theme is based mostly on Norse Mythology with a track dedicated to the Norse god “Brage”, which also is a tribute to Vanir’s fans. Yet another track is a nod to J.R.R Tolkien. One other point to bring forward is the artwork of the album. This was created by none other than the bass player of the band, Lars Bundvad. Since he didn’t write any of the music for this album, he took it on himself to create the sensational artwork of the album. The figure is a Norn, strongly feminine imagery and also that of a sage depicting wisdom, power and paganism.
For those not familiar with Vanir, they first formed in 2009 and they are a six piece band, being: Lars Bundvad, (bass & backing vocals), Philip Kaaber (rhythm guitars & backing vocals), Martin Hakan(drums and lead vocals), Daniel Kronskov (drums), Kirk Backarach (lead guitar) and Stefan Dujardin on keyboards.
Now that I’ve done a brief intro of the band, let’s get into the 12 tracks of this album.
“Aeresstrid” jumps in with heavy hitting riffs and deep guttural vocals, with that quintessential viking rhythm of singing with a melodic edge. “Andvari’s Curse” is based on a dwarf from Norse mythology, who could change into a pike and possessed a magical ring. Loki was able to trap him in a net (as he was shape shifted into a pike) and take his ring. The music is epic and story telling.
“Battle of Middle Earth” is the track that speaks to the J.R.R. Tolkien series. Towering and building riffs, some and melodies that give the imagination a look at the bloody battles of middle earth. “Black Clad” is next, and gives more of the melodic viking feel with guitar solos, teaming up together, exploding drums and those guttural vocals that express so much.
“Day of Reckoning”, a great atmospheric, with haunted battle horns, and a spoken story surrounding hell’s army bringing about the end of days. “Dodsfaerd” comes up and it’s a melodic metal extravaganza.
“Eindrioi”, “Gods of War”, “See The Dragons Ride”, all displaying this band’s mastery of instruments.
“Sessrumnir” melodies are on point with the Viking way and “The Bounty of Flesh and Bone”, has a thrash beat, built into the melodic rhythm.
“Visdomsmjoden”, the final track on this, combines all the excellent efforts so far displayed on this album.
To sum up, a huge YES to Viking and melodic metal delivered firey and uncompromised. This band knows their roots and keeps us, the fans, rooted and cheering as we fall under their spell and celebrate their sound. I give a 7.5/10 Metal Marie
7.5/10: Victory is Possible!
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