Review 2083 : Vanir – Epitome – English

Relive history with Vanir.

For fifteen years, the Danish band has been bringing us their epic Melodic Death. In 2024, Martin Rubini (vocals, Lotan), Michael Lundquist (guitar), Michael Christensen (bass), Jon Elmquist (drums), Kirk Backarach (guitar, Iron Fire, Vansind) and Stefan Dujardin (keyboards) release Epitome, their seventh album.

The album kicks off with Twisting The Knife, an aggressive and majestic epic that picks up where the band left off. Double kick and frantic riffs provide the basis for furious howls and melodies coupled with impressive keyboards, sweeping us along on this fantastic ride that only slows down to let One Man Army take over with a unifying march. The track is slower and jerkier than its predecessor, but maintains its catchy approach with more rhythmic passages before slowing the pace again to let Wood Iron And Will reveal its heady leads. The rhythm retains its lively touches, guided by the wild vocal parts that eventually unleash it, then the band adds a touch of mystery with the bass introduction on Sanguis Et Aurum, quickly joined by the rest of the instruments to finally adopt a controlled rage. Like a strategist, the vocalist lets the riffs accelerate at the crucial moment, then leads us into Sorte Grethe, where playful harmonics slip into a solid rhythmic pattern forged through epic Pagan influences. The sound turns darker with Call To Arms, where the ominous intro literally explodes and lets the band charge through with effective patterns, but the guitars return to give the musicians a second wind as they ignite to lead us into Fall Of Arkona. The leads and keyboards quickly become more solemn and imposing, forcing the band to adopt a different atmosphere that still very well suits their glorious style, sometimes leaving orchestrations aside to concentrate on the raw sound, as on Blood Eagle, where they awaken to singularly reinforce certain passages by increasing their power tenfold. The rest of the track follows much the same direction, before finally leaving us with Kings Will Fall and its pessimistic tones, which once again turn into grandiose flights of fancy where rhythm and keyboards collaborate to create the best possible sound and close the album with the same energy as on its debut.

Vanir truly embodies the term « epic ». Between its solid rhythms, majestic keyboards, deft leads, Pagan influences and fierce screams, Epitome has everything to make us want to go on an adventure, sword in hand!


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