As you might know Sweden is a musical breeding ground of all sorts. Famous artists have sprouted from this North European country such as Hammerfall, Sabaton and Bloodbound. However, every band had to start somewhere, and it’s rare for a new and upcoming artists to hit the ground running. One of the upcoming artists from this beautiful country is Vanquisher and it’s my privilege to review their released debut album “An Age Undreamed Of”.
While Vanquisher was officially founded in 2014 by singer Johan Jönsson and guitarist Robin Malm, it all really took off as a band in late 2017 when the full band was assembled after having released the first EP “A Demonstration of Power“.
From that point forward they made sure to play live and find the strengths in their songs before bringing them to the studio in 2019 when the first single “Shadows over Stygia” was released.
2022 saw the release of Vanquisher’s debut album “An Age Undreamed Of” together with Stormspell Records – mixed and mastered by Niklas Johansson (Tungsten/Hulkoff).
The release was followed up with a few live shows like Kristianstad Rockfest and a Release Party at Plan B in Malmö (even serving a special beer by Heavy MetAle themed for the event!). So, perhaps a little overdue, but it’s time to dive into “An Age Undreamed Of”
“An Age Undreamed Of” has been released a little while ago and contains 11 songs and has a total playing time a little under one hour. A 1m51 intro called “Nemedian Chronicle” is an opening fitting for the album, as it enlightens and introduces the listener to a fascinating album to come. A little bit in the style of bands like Manowar and Iron Maiden as they could open in a similar way.
What stands out to me, listening to the first few tracks, is that Vanquisher seems to have found a way to incorporate their own vision into songs that feel recognisable in a way. “Ode To The Slain” is a perfect example for that. The lyrics tell us a solid story and the way the music has been composed gives me the idea that is sounds familiar in a way. Sometimes the music leans a little towards Power Metal, at other moments it leans more towards Heavy Metal, but so well put together that you instantly start head banging. The tempo changes, and the lead guitar make that this song could be an evergreen in the making for these Swedish Metallers.
Another thing that is noticeable is the fact that Vanquisher took their time to compose this album and it shows. A lot of elements that are found in the glory years of heavy metal can be found in the songs. Uptempo load guitars, heavy fast drums and a distinctive voice of the leadsinger (with an impressive range, to say the least) are features you can trace back to Heavy Metal bands like Judas Priest and Hammerfall. “Cimmeria” is a perfect showcase for these elements. The slow build up, the wide range of leadsinger Johan Jönsson and the overall composition of the song are spot on!
The final track on this impressive album is named “Serpent God” and is slightly different from the other songs on this album. From the start, it is more sinister and dark, as the guitars sound heavier, the drums sound more deep, and the growls bring an extra layer of “ominous” to the track. Although this song isn’t the best showcase of Vanquisher’s abilities (there are several songs on the album that do just that!), it shows that Vanquisher have found their own way and sound, and are able to incorporate that into a well thought out album as a whole!
“An Age Undreamed Of” has been a truly pleasant surprise for me. I regularly review albums from new and/or upcoming bands and artist, and it is quite rare to listen to a debut album that ticks so many boxes. The composition of the songs, strong lyrics and ditto voice, the quality of the mastering and mixing and the “togetherness” of the album are impressive to say the least!
When listening to the album you can’t deny the fact that it shows that the band-members took the time to compose a well thought out debut, there is diversity between the songs, and the chemistry between the members is showing. The album is easy accessible for anyone who loves heavy metal. But heavy metal with a Vanquisher sauce!
If I should name one negative, is could be that the music itself is not really innovative but that doesn’t bother me. Vanquisher has found a way to incorporate the “glory years of heavy metal” into their own Vanquisher sound!
Gorm of the Pounding Hooves – Drums
Horsa the Untamed – Guitar & Backing Vocals
Niord of Nordheim – Lead Vocals
Wulfhere the Executioner – Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals
Heimdal the Warlord – Guitar & Backing Vocals
AN AGE UNDREAMED OF HAS BEEN RELEASED ON ALL STREAMING SERVICES!
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS ANYTHING VANQUISHER RELEASES OR ANNOUNCES, MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW THEM THROUGH THE FOLLOWING LINKS!
IF YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO VANQUISHER A BIT MORE, CLICK THE FOLLOWING PLAYLIST!