Onwards Into Battle

Written by: PP on 24/12/2012 14:43:12

Vanir, whose name stems from Norse mythological group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom, and the ability to see the future, are a relatively new name to the Danish folk metal scene, yet they have already begun establishing themselves as a household name nationally and also internationally to some extent. Their debut album "Særimners Kød" was well received for a number of reasons, but in my opinion the most important factor was their sound. Where most Danish bands echo around a hollow soundscape trying to sound as heavy as possible for no particular meaningful reason, Vanir dared to go the folk metal way and throw in crazy bagpipe melodies, keytars, tin whistles, and the flute, all the while balancing on a tightrope between viking metal and folk metal.

That careful maneuvering continues on sophomore album "Onwards Into Battle", where their decidedly folk metal melodies fight against rumbling grooves of viking metal, which occasionally bring to mind Amon Amarth - that is, if they were a folk metal band instead of a strictly viking metal one. So the waves of guitars that find their inspiration in the stormy waters of the North Sea pillage-the-village adventures are met with their melodic counterparts in vivid bagpipe melodies that often function as the leading element in every song. The resulting ship is one flush with boozed up party melodies, but serious enough to avoid falling in the same category with bands like AleStorm and Jaldaboath. Instead, local fellows in Svartsot, as well as Eluveiti, Finntroll, and Korpiklaani are all among Vanir's obvious inspiration, but here the band manage to reinterpret the classic folk metal sound in a surprisingly catchy and enjoyable manner.

"Onwards Into Battle" isn't that different from "Særimners Kød", but that's also the point. Vanir simply continue to advance as songwriters, evident in super-catchy folk metal pieces like the title track and "Thyrfing", but are also confident in leaving the folk instrumentation aside for lengthy passages, such as on "Tveskægs Hævn". And so when all is said and done, Vanir are among the most likely candidates for international potential.

Download: Onwards Into Battle, Thyrfing
For the fans of: Svartsot, Finntroll, Eluveiti, Korpiklaani
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.09.2012
Mighty Music

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