Vandor – On A Moonlit Night

Vandor
On A Moonlit Night
Scarlet Records
Out: July 16th, 2021
Playing time: 55:20

The press text speaks of the “up-and-coming Power Metal sensation from Sweden”. The band was founded in Gothenburg in 2015. After a few singles, the debut album “In The Land Of Vandor” was released in 2019. In the meantime, the musicians were able to land a record deal with Scarlet Records. The follow-up “On A Moonlit Night” has now been released under this flag. The line-up seems to be stable, except for the position on the drums. According to Encyclopaedia Metallum, all three previous drummers have left the band in the meantime. Two of them at least helped to record the album.

Thunder, harp playing. The intro “…Darkness Looms” is certainly of the ” unnecessary” kind. And fortunately, it is only half a minute short. Mountains Of Avagale” also starts with harp sounds. But shortly afterwards the pumping bass and the fast drumming compensate. However, Vide Bjerde’s vocals sound a bit weak. He has difficulties to hold his own against the low tones. These really do credit to the genre of power metal. The riffs also get lost a bit. In the middle part it gets a bit quieter. Before a grandiose guitar solo is heard. “River Of Life” swings into Speed Metal territory, with massive double bass attacks. Synths can be heard, although there is no regular keyboard player in the ranks of the Swedes. But also, here the vocals are the weak point. The metal screams sound a bit too shrill, there is a lack of power and assertiveness in the voice. “Endless Sea” sounds like classic 90s metal. Here, too, the synths can be heard again and again. The vocals sound more pleasant here, less tortured. Interesting that the background vocals of Jack L. Stroem impress me much more. On the beautiful ballad “Future To Behold”, Vide Bjerde’s vocals are completely convincing. Here he is in his comfort zone. But a power metal album does not only consist of ballads. With “Fate Of Eltoria” the Swedes obviously want to compete with Dragonforce. A high-speed perforce ride. The highlight of the album, however, is the eighteen-minute epic “The Sword To End All Wars”. A metal anthem to kneel down to. Thanks to the many quieter parts, the vocals also sound much more pleasant. The harmonious interplay of the guitars is outstanding. The ballad-like title song “On A Moonlit Night” is, apart from the intro, the shortest song on the album. The singer is accompanied by acoustic guitars. You can hear the logs of a campfire crackling. Next to the monumental song before, the best thing you can hear here. This is the end of the official part. What follows is the bonus song “Enter Twilight”. Here Vandor really let it rip once again.

The album “On A Moonlit Night” leaves the listener with mixed feelings. Musically, the songs are excellent. Unfortunately, one has to make some concessions when it comes to the vocals. So, all in all, a very good album becomes only a good one. What a pity. A word about the album cover. I think it is a very good realisation of the album title, a sailing ship in a moonlit night.

VANDOR – Fate of Eltoria (Official Video): https://youtu.be/32qWRvIViws

Lineup:

Vide Bjerde – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jack L. Stroem – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Alve Bjerde – Bass
Lova Krysell/Robin Risander – Drums

Track list:

  • …Darkness Looms
  • Mountains of Avagale
  • River of Life
  • Endless Sea
  • Future to Behold
  • Fate of Eltoria
  • The Sword to End All Wars
  • On a Moonlit Night
  • Enter Twilight (Bonus Track)
  • 7/10
    Album - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Song-Writing - 8/10
7.7/10
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