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Vanquisher: An Age Undreamed Of
Vanquisher - An Age Undreamed Of Album Art

Vanquisher: An Age Undreamed Of

Heavy/Power/Thrash Metal
3.5/5.0

Formed some eight years ago in Malmo, Vanquisher has been grinding it out in Sweden's underground metal scene with success in mind. In 2017, the quintet which goes by creative pagan stage names (i.e. Wulfhere The Executioner and Horsa The Untamed, etc.) released their only EP, A Demonstration Of Power. This was followed in 2019 by a single, Shadows over Stygia, independent of any album. Three years later, in May of 2022, released Vanquisher dropped the single,Storming Venarium, in advance of their debut album, An Age Undreamed Of, which we consider for review.

Vanquisher Click For Larger Image

Vanquisher

Perhaps the band photo will give you a clue of Vanquisher's heavy metal direction. (Is that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne Johnson hiding in the back?) If not, be prepared to have your town pillaged and your women raped by the Vanquisher war party. One thing's for sure, Vanquisher has spare no expense upon metal cosplay costumes.

Essentially, there's really only two things you need to know about Vanquisher's metal veneer. One, they play classic fast and heavy metal, mixing parts of power and thrash metal. Think: Manowar, Powerwolf, perhaps more Ironsword. Their lyrical content is derived from the writings of Robert E Howard, namely the fictional universe of Conan the Cimmerian and the Hyborian Age. The album title comes from Howard's Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of (Of the RPG of similar name).

Those notes lead to several observations. First, their metal approach is rather traditional: heavy, chugging to fast, with twin guitars, and an epic driving rhythm section. Mostly this makes for power metal. Yet, songs like Savage Sword and Storming Venarium have prominent thrash influences. However, what's rather disturbing is that most song arrangements have subtle to squashed guitar solos. Trapped on Shamu's Plain is one exceptions; perhaps a more careful listen will yield more, if you can overcome their thump and rumble power metal to find them.

Second, the lyrics draw heavily from the source material. Lending themselves to rather specific short story telling, you'll need the lyrics to understand the story. Additionally,the vocalist is nearly as crushed as the guitar solos. My review copy did not include any lyrics. All this leads me to conclude that Vanquisher should have pursued more adventurous compositions which also advance more guitar-forward heavy metal. Mostly the songs are all smash and pummel power metal leaving little to the imagination. Perhaps cutting back on their stage costumes and investing in more songwriting and metal production is the cure.

Nevertheless, if you like your heavy metal infused with power and thrash metal and invested in Hyborian Age sword and sorcery storytelling, you will enjoy Vanquisher and their debut album, An Age Undreamed Of.




CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Take Away

If you like your heavy metal infused with power and thrash metal and invested in Hyborian Age sword and sorcery storytelling, you will enjoy Vanquisher and their debut album, An Age Undreamed Of.

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