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Vandor - In The Land Of Vandor

Vandor
In The Land Of Vandor
by Kevin Burke at 27 January 2019, 7:56 PM

The apocalyptic-scream of Swedish power metal, breaks fourth once more with epic results as VANDOR release their highly anticipated “In The Land Of Vandor” album. As debut-releases go this is a very well honed affair and brothers Vide and Alve Bjerde refuse to stick to a simple-format, one which glides through the motions, these guys are hungry, have put a lot of talent and heart into this recording.

This is a work of consistent quick-fire Metal, melodic, choral and times transcending the current European-epic Metal acts effortlessly.  Surprisingly “In The Land Of Vandor” does stick out, there is a definite old-school excitement to the affair, the dungeons and dragons themed bands have always had an edge of coolness since the late Ronnie James led RAINBOW.  With songs structured as-well as this song-cycle it is no surprise the genre will survive.

From the dramatic intro; “Dark Times” the listener already gets the feel of what lies in store.  The kaleidoscope of riffing on tracks such as the powerful and precise “Wrath Of The Night” are breathtaking at times, speed laden and skillful.  As a whole the band tick-away as if a V8-engine has just rolled into a sleepy town, full-on, balls-out solid metal. The  single release “Beneath The Sky” the excitement builds with an electric intensity.  As tracks flow through each other with an appealing value, no duds or that all so common repetitive feel, the listener gets the feeling that this is a bit too versatile for a debut release, that is the testimony to the aforementioned hunger.

Possessive Eyes” and “Uncover The Earth” showcase the bands intense talent, never raw sounding but there is a lot put into the music.  It is as if this debut is an extension of ideas, VANDOR are trying to capture their essence with exceptional musicianship, perhaps still honing in that sound and trying ideas.   The production is the warm and the vocals Vide Bjerde are treated with care, his voice is not what you would expect to hear rage from an epic-Metal album but it works wonderfully well.

As the albums comes to a triumphant finish with “The Land Of Vandor”, the title track, whilst not brilliant keeps it interesting and flows into the outro-“In The Shadows”, it is a finish worthy of a repeated play, the listener will be drawn to listen to it again.  Here is the thing whilst it may be heavy on conceptual ideas and themes such as dragons, warriors and mystical forces, I do feel that the actual  concept is the band themselves, a telling of the VANDOR story disguised in songs styled into fantasy.  Whatever the core is does not hide the fact that this is a stunning release one which is a good start to the year for both VANDOR and fans of the genre.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dark Times (Intro)
2. Wrath Of The Night
3. Beneath The Sky
4. Warriors Of Time
5. Possessive Eyes
6. Uncover The Earth
7. Serving Their Need
8. With Bleeding Hands I Stand
9. The Land Of Vandor
10. In The Shadows (Outro)
11. Possessive Eyes (Acoustic Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Vide Bjerde- Vocals, Guitar
Alve Bjerde- Bass
Jack L. Stroem- Guitar
Uno Rosengren- Keyboards
Robin Risander- Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 05 December 2022
 

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