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Vandor - On A Moonlit Night

Vandor
On A Moonlit Night
by Kevin Lewis at 10 August 2021, 7:53 AM

VANDOR is a Swedish Power Metal album formed in 2015. "On A Moonlit Night" is their second full-length record, following 2019’s "In The Land Of Vandor". Their sophomore effort was released on July 16, 2021 via Scarlet Records.

The record opens with the 33 second instrumental, “…Darkness Looms.” Gentle sounds lead to what sounds like a harp. This is ethereal and calming. The intro carries into “Mountains Of Avagale,” a fast-paced, true power metal tune. With rapid-fire guitars, a rhythm that never quits and soaring vocals, the tune is the epitome of the genre. Full of fantasy imagery, this is a good lead-off track.

River Of Life” starts with drums and guitar flair and then has a cool keyboard kick. This is a song that showcases some of the individual talents of the band while still maintaining band coherence. The vocals give some grit to go along with the power. The drums are full-on speed freak tempo. This song has early HELLOWEEN vibes all over it. By contrast, “Endless Sea” has a more modern, symphonic feel. This blending of influences on one record works.

In typical power metal fashion, “The Sword To End All Wars” is the 18 minute epic tale of the record. Beginning with an acapella segment, it starts the build from there. Keyboards are the first to enter, then the rest enter the fray. This song is big. It has twists and turns. It has a crescendo. It has time and tempo shifts. It is everything you need from an epic power metal song. The beast is slain, the hero is victorious, the trial is complete. The only thing left is to get home and celebrate.

The shortest lyric track on the record is the title track, “On A Moonlit Night.” This wraps the tale, though does leave room for bonus material. This is a ballad that never betrays its’ purpose by trying to have a power ending. It just slowly works towards the end and quietly finishes the story.

VANDOR is definitely not old school Power Metal, but they learned from that era. You can hear the 80s in some of the music. Symphonic is also there. The blend is good. They got the balance right. Each of the musicians is well-versed with their respective instruments. The two vocalists work very well together. Their harmonies are accurate and they fit themselves into the song in tune.

There is also an energy to this album. It feels young and vibrant. The band is definitely putting in the work to make themselves known. They’re a force to be reckoned with. As they progress and grow their following, they should be a mainstay on the European festival circuit, working their way to later in the day on the main stage.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. … Darkness Looms
2. Mountains of Avagale
3. River of Life
4. Endless Sea
5. Future to Behold
6. Fate of Eltoria
7. The Sword to End All Wars
8. On A Moonlit Night
9. Enter Twilight (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Alve Bjerde – Bass
Lova Krysell – Drums (tracks 2-3, 9)
Robin Risander – Drums (tracks 4-7, 10-11)
Jack L. Stroem – Guitar (Lead)/Vocals (Backing)/Keyboards
Vide Bjerde – Guitar (Rhythm)/Vocals (Lead)
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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Edited 27 November 2022
 

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