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Vananidr – Beneath the Mold

Beneath the Mold
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 November 2022, 7:21 PM

From their EPK, “On October 28, Swedish Black Metallers VANANIDR released their new album "Beneath The Mold" via Black Lion Records. Born from the ashes of Black Metal band HYDRA, the band has managed to release three full-length albums since their inception in 2017: the self-titled debut (2018), "Road North" (2019) and "Damnation" (2020). VANANIDR may be a new name, but the band's history stretches back many years - which becomes immediately clear when the listener is confronted with such Black Metal of an ancient vintage.” The album has six songs.

“Dominion” is the first. The opening sounds are both tense and hastey. When the main riff kicks in, meaty bass notes accompany the carnage. The vocals are fairly standard Black Metal grunts, but no screams, and no overly constant presence. “Awake” begins with a pretty standard Black Metal riff, but the backing elements are folky and supportive. The instrumental section occupying the mid-way mark is commanding and powerful and the sonority increases as the song rolls on. Desperate tones begin to take shape towards the end. “The Watcher” begins with come clean tones that give way to harsh, despondent ones. Again, the mid-section instrumental elements are punishing and energetic.

“Beneath the Mold” is a ten-minute opus. The opening elements speak of rage and despair combined. Harmonized guitars come in a few minutes in, furthering the melancholy tones. There is a fade to the mid-section, which is marked by piano notes. The second half is much like the first. “Dressed in Pain” is indeed an exercise in pain, with torturous vocals and strong backing elements. “Sea of Lies” closes the album. Harsh elements reign for the most part in this song. Harrowing elements bubble under the surface and at times lash out in anger. This was a pretty good album with a decent balance between anger and desperation. I wish the band had taken some more chances, however. Many of the songs have a similar sound, and thus the album could have been better. The band has some strong prowess, but I just wish they had shown it a bit more, because the album has a lot of potential.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Dominion
2. Awake
3. The Watcher
4. Beneath the Mold
5. Dressed in Pain
6. Sea of Lies
A. Eriksson – Vocals, Guitars
F. Andersson – Drums
P. Lindström – Bass
Record Label: Black Lion Records


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Edited 31 May 2023

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