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Vanir - The Glorious Dead Award winner

The Glorious Dead
by Cody "CC Spearhead" Campbell at 13 October 2014, 12:41 PM

Glory to the brave and let the gods smile upon the blessed few chosen to claim victory! VANIR trudge forth with the release “The Glorious Dead” forging a grand sonic experience of valiant victory and anguish-laden defeat. Hymns contained within this nine track combat soundtrack are heavy, raw, and crushing with a hint of haunting sustenance emanating from Sara Oddershede’s bagpipes.

The Glorious Dead” screams to life with “The Eagle Will Fall” and Martin Holmsgaard Håkan’s raw, guttural vocals matched with heavy reverb-laden guitars and low rhythms. Production for “The Glorious Dead” is raw, thick, and aggressive with scraping guitar tones and pounding bass drum clarity. VANIR fires a flaming sonic arrow with precision toward the target sound for the genre of heavy Viking metal. The opening track pounds forward with a strong destructive chorus aesthetic coupled with contrasting bagpipe melodies. “March of the Giants” is the runner up track with a dense hammering tempo and brusque cadence yelling forward. This track again contains ear pleasing guitar work in tandem with bagpipe melody acrobatics. There is great material among the contrasting heavy and sweet melody within these songs providing positive reinforcement to the anger and grit.

Written In Blood” launches with heroic guitar strumming coupled with a hypnotic bagpipe mixture and trampling low tempo drumming. There is such an amazing grit to these battle hymns fringing on the black side of the metal spectrum that wrenches the imagery and emotion upward. In the genre the easiest benchmark is AMON AMARTH to which VANIR is not an equal in grandeur or fan base but as with any great warrior these Danish metallers possess other great qualities. Tracks such as title song “The Glorious Dead” and “Overlord” present tremendous aggression and calculated presentation of the dark and real side of what we today perceive as a wonderful death. Others as the aforementioned AMON AMARTH paint pictures of victory in a fashion more palatable to unhardened band wagon warriors. You’ll find no such ease within these songs. VANIR weaves a nine song tale of the true face of battle which comes smeared with blood, tears, and dirt. Truly in the days of old that we covet so much, being a successful warrior relied on a thirst for death and conquest that pleased the gods who readily welcomed them.

Another auditory bloodbath “I Valkyriernes Skød” boons an anthem of mourning with a slowed tempo and outstanding bagpipe work united with enthralling guitar soloing. Certainly, the bagpipes add diversity and makes this the track of choice when firing the final flaming arrow sending you to meet your maker. “The Glorious Dead” overcomes the listener like a storied Viking pillage and locks them in place with bloody rusted shackles. VANIR create a true sonic gem full of imagery and grit that will stay on rotation long after the first listen.

4 Star Rating

1. Fall of the eagle
2. March of the Giants
3. Written in Blood
4. The Glorious Dead
5. I Valkyriernes Skød
6. Overlord
7. The Flames of Lindisfarne
8. Blood Sacrifice
9. God emperor
Martin Holmsgaard Håkan - Vocals
Lasse Guldbæk - Guitars
Phillip Kaaber - Phillip Kaaber
Sara Oddershede - Sara Oddershede
Lars Bundvad - Lars Bundvad
Daniel ‘Luske’ Kronskov - Daniel 'Luske' Kronskov
Record Label: Mighty Music


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Edited 31 March 2023

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