VANDOR - In The Land Of Vandor
Release date January 31/19 (Bandcamp)
Shepard joins the crew at The Mighty Decibel with his first album review. You can also check out his "Heavy Metal Mania" podcasts at https://soundcloud.com/hmmpodcast .
Soaring vocals? High fantasy? Scorched fretboards? Sweden’s Vandor rides triumphant into battle for their debut album, In The Land of Vandor. Cofounders, and brothers, Vide and Alve Bjerde are the clear standouts with Vide invoking victory with his vocals and Alve surprising you with just four strings.
While Vide plays it relatively safe on vocals throughout most of the album, he clearly shows the talent and potential (see Possessive Eyes) to be a new star in the now surprisingly refreshed Power Metal scene. Like most bands in the genre, the epic vocals and fast six string shredding reign supreme, however, Alve steals some of the spotlight with his abundant bass attack. This is partly due to the great production on the album. The rest of the band are no slouches either as they will remind you why Power Metal will never die... It’s too damn fun. This album is no exception, the catchy (in some cases, almost poppy) choruses fill me with energy and make my heart and mind feel light. Walk down the street with this blasting in your ears and I dare you not to imagine marching towards the elves with your sword held high. I would have liked to hear more of the keyboardist, Uno Rosengren, get to play around more and shine though. His parts seem too few and far between.
I think some might see it as a ‘bad’ thing but hearing straightforward European Power Metal done right is refreshing to me. It seems like for a while this genre was falling into the trap of being too ‘cheesy’ but with this recent resurgence (Novareign, Visigoth, Warrior Path, Idle Hands and now Vandor to name a few) the future is looking glorious!
Favorite tracks: Possessive Eyes, Warriors of Time, Beneath the Sky