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Vanquisher - An Age Undreamed of

An Age Undreamed of
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 21 September 2022, 1:37 PM

People usually don’t understand a feature: Conan, the Cimmerian, isn’t a hero born in the 70’s, when Marvel started to publish his stories. No, the character appeared for the first time in 1932, in a series of fantasy stories published in Weird Tales magazine. And it spammed a whole new universe, a new ‘legendarium’ with mythologies, tales, geography and other features that make the Hyborian Age hard to resist for fans of fantasy on books. And even for Metal, because Conan appears as theme of many songs, but on the hands of the Swedish quintet VANQUISHER, things were taken to a whole new level, as heard on “An Age of Undreamed of”, their first album.

Musically, it can be said that the quintet works on a trench of classic Power Metal, that form that bears the Swedish DNA (a personal set of features of the bands of the country that can’t be found on other countries’ acts). But they focus the creation of their melodies on the guitars (besides there are moments with some orchestrations), so it’s a bit heavier than the usual, with energy and many hooks. They need to mature a bit more to sharp their musical efforts, but the album shows a promising name for the future, indeed. On the mixing and mastering, the band worked with Niklas Johansson, and things worked in a good way: it sounds defined and clean, allowing the fans to understand what’s being played. But it doesn’t fit 100% on what the band musically expresses, and some tunes could be better worked (because in some parts that needs an extra dose of weight, things are lacking it). And the orchestrations are a contribution given by the hands of the invited musician Johannes Frykholm.

Even having to learn some lessons to improve their musical work, the offering done by the quintet to the fans has its charm and value, especially on songs as “The Pride of Aquilonia” (a strong and heavy song with some ‘manowarian’ touches, and with very good melodies created by the guitars), “Storming Venarium” (a faster song, with a great and catchy level of energy, and a monolithic and heavy weight flowing from bass guitar and drums playing), “Reaver” (this one carries a touch of influences Epic Metal in many moments, with slow tempos in the beginning, but soon exploding in speed and weight, and good vocals can be heard, but that can evolve to a better form in the future), “Cimmeria” (a deeper and melancholic song focuses on clean guitars and orchestrations, and the vocals work in a great way on the most introspective parts), “Battleborn” (this one shows a tendency into modern Heavy Metal approach due its weight and aggressiveness, and what brutal guitars!), and “Serpent God” (a song filled with many rhythmic contrasts and energy) are the best ones. It seems that the band still bears some naivety, so it’s a matter of maturing to hold properly the Phoenix Sword.

Once more, “An Age Undreamed of” isn’t a perfect release, but it shows that VANQUISHER is a talented quintet that can become great in the future.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Nemedian Chronicle
2. The Pride of Aquilonia
3. Storming Venarium
4. Ode to the Slain
5. Reaver
6. Cimmeria
7. Trapped on Shamu’s Plain
8. Battleborn
9. Savage Sword
10. Priests of Set
11. Serpent God
Niord of Nordheim - Vocals
Heimdal the Warlord - Guitars
Horsa the Untamed - Guitars
Wulfhere the Executioner - Bass
Gorm of the Pounding Hooves - Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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