This is an album that has grown constantly on me. Where Danish folk/death metal/slightly black metal outfit from the outset have been following in the footsteps of their countrymen in Svartsot, this their fourth release sees the sextet taking a direction where they have developed into something other and much more impressive.
As I said, ‘Aldar Rök’ has grown on me. I wasn’t immediately impressed and found it a bit hard to get into. But the more I’ve listened, the more I’ve come to appreciate the in a way crude and simple sound of the album, yet with a richness of ideas when it comes to riffing, the use of harmonies and keyboards throughout the album. With this album, Vanir land somewhere in the zone between the less intolerable Norwegian black metal artist and Amon Amarth’s colossal Viking bombardments. It works.
The two tracks Unrepentant and Broken Throne stand out as being particularly successful, the latter in particular because it’s got one of those riffs that completely worms its way under your metal skin. If nothing else, then at least do yourself the favour of checking out the mighty chorus of this song! ‘Rise, son of Odin, not just a man, Einherjer within.’ Killer!
You can discuss whether you like the production of the album (which the Vanir themselves have taken care of this time around), but although it’s certainly not perfect in this day and age, you could also argue that it’s a way for the band to distinguish their sound from other like-minded bands. It’s kind of old-school and brings back memories of a time before Andy Sneap.
Solid effort by Vanir, and one which ought to earn them a support gig here and there outside our wee country.
01. Black Legion
04. Broken Throne
05. Wrath of Sutr
06. The Serpent
Playing time: 31 minutes
Release date: 26th of February, 2016
Label: Mighty Music