Album Review: Vanir – Sagas (Mighty Music)

From the Sagas of old, to the halls of Valhalla, from Danish and Germanic battlefields with their bloody battles and fierce warriors, Danish warriors Vanir are back and have put together, without compromise, a new epic album, with a fascination with our common origins, and the blood spilled throughout history. The Viking melodic death metal band will release their sixth album ‘Sagas’ on March 11th, 2022 via Mighty Music.

Chest-thumping and blood-boiling Viking melodic metal from an authentic source, Sagas is an apt title as it features track after track of epic heaviness. Albeit without the grandiosity that is often associated with the term ‘Viking metal’, although that isn’t to suggest Vanir don’t make you feel battle-ready.

A wave of sea air, a warning horn and building threat leads to the battle getting under way with Day of Reckoning. A bombastic blast of metal to wake the senses up. War has come and Vanir are the muses of these sagas.

Black Clad is an early highlight with its combination of rip-roaring riffs and hooks, crunchy drumbeats and scathing, confrontational vocals. The fast-paced nature of that track then continues into the frenzied and panicky instrumentation of See the Dragons Ride. Before Dødsfærd drops the tempo and delivers a meaty, rhythmic discharge of brash ferocity and Eindriði crashes and smashes through the line as though Vanir are possessed by the spirit of a great warrior. A melodic pause for breath adds some levity but it doesn’t stop this one being an intense listen.

Vanir are only getting started though and continue to deliver rapid-fire blasts of heavy, melodic metal noise. Sessrúmnir, The Bounty of Flesh and Bone and Æresstrid, a set of undeniable bouts of heavy music that reflects the stories that the band are focused on.

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Although it’s something even more fantastical with Battle of Middle-Earth, Vanir drawing from the world of Tolkien for another battle-hardened heavyweight effort. Although, fantastical story-telling twisted and shaped by Vanir’s style of death metal is hardly new, it is interesting to hear them tackle such an epic tale.

There’s a handful more to go before Sagas ends. A robust and vigour-filled head-banger with Andvari’s Curse. A thumping epic in the form of Gods of War and the gargantuan closer that is Visdomsmjøden. A final trio that does little to dampen the flames of war. Rather, they add more fuel to turn it into an all-consuming inferno.

Vanir – Sagas Full Track Listing:

1. Day of Reckoning
2. Black Clad
3. See the Dragons Ride
4. Dødsfærd
5. Eindriði
6. Sessrúmnir
7. The Bounty of Flesh and Bone
8. Æresstrid
9. Battle of Middle-Earth
10. Andvari’s Curse
11. Gods of War
12. Visdomsmjøden


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Vanir - Sagas (Mighty Music)
  • The Final Score - 8/10
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