Label: Purity Through Fire
Release 24 January 2020
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
The story of this band started back in 1995, that time named HYDRA. Between 1995 and 2012 they released six demos, one album, and one live album, the band split up. After that, a new band was created, SYNODUS HORRENDA and they released the self-titled album, which was nothing more than the HYDRA second album, but never released until after they split-up.
Backing to 20 November 2018 when the first VANANIDR album named “Vananidr” was released via digital this band showed how Black Metal should be. That happened again in the second album named “Road North” (You can read the review made by Goth Mark here) and finally, this album “Damnation” that I have the honor to write some words.
And to be honest? This album “kills” everything and everyone. The icy and at the same time catchy riffs are amazing.
To start… The first song “Distilled” with a kind of intro and after almost one minute… Pummmmmm… Brutality. Fast Black Metal with a killer riff with the lead guitar doing a beautiful but at the same time sick melody. The drums are as fast as evil. Almost 4 minutes of the best Black Metal made till today in my opinion. And on the 04m29s? Tchhhhh… The solo that appears together with the melody/riffs behind? Uh la la. Very good indeed. The transaction to the “slower” part of the song did remind me a bit of old IMMORTAL.
The second song of this album is the song that gives the name of this album. “Damnation” is a song that starts with a good riff and with a very good, even simple, drum work. The mix of both and when the voice appears, are very well done. The structure of the song doesn’t change too much during the song until the 05m45s. The riffs, tempo change, the drum, the atmosphere, changed so good, that my ears almost “masturbated” with such pleasure that they were having… Really. So really good. The song ends with the same riffs that started. Amazing. Even if the song as not a fast one (like I mostly like inside the Black Metal) is one of my favorites in this album.
My ears, my foot, my head, my finger (even if it was hitting the table) wanted more. And VANANIDR brought more good music with the third song “Hunter”. This song is a mix of mid-tempo/blast beats during 7m15s and the passages that are present here from tempo to tempo are phenomenal. Very good indeed and some influences I noticed here and there, or, to be more correct some riffs that remind me a few other bands. That can’t be avoided, to be honest.
“Tides of Blood” the fourth song of this album, is the first song with less 7 minutes. A song that, when it starts, reminds me in a very quick way, a mix of Pagan Black Metal feeling, WINDIR for example, mixed with some HYPOCRISY slow riffs and with the icy mid-tempo 90’s Black Metal riffs. Strange? Yes, that is true, but it was what came to my mind. It did remind me a bit of everything, but all together. The voice in this song gives a beautiful feeling of hate, the way that the voice is put in the song, the timbre of it and as it prolongs the words. It is felt and can convey the meaning of the lyrics of the song.
“Wounds of Old” and “Reflection” the following songs are another masterpiece inside this amazing album, that I can’t stop listening to since I got the promo. “Wounds of Old” is more a mid-tempo song with plenty of melody and atmosphere that seems to embrace me with its blackness. “Reflection” is a continuation, and they seem to be sister songs, but the small details that I heard, in the immense times that I listened to this album, make them different at the same time.
“Void” the last song… And the shorter one even if it as almost 6 minutes. The lead guitars here are one of the best and most felt I listening to, till today. All notes are chosen carefully to fit in the most precise way and place. Beautiful.
In resume… For me, this album is a continuation of the previous one and confirmation too, that, this album is of one of the best Black Metal albums made in the last 2 years. And I heard many many many albums. Believe me. For me VANANIDR, even if is full of hate around it, in the way they play the Black Metal, in the way they do the icy riffs, in the atmosphere around the album, they also transmit love. Yes, is strange to say this in one Black Metal album. That it’s true. To do good things, in this case, the band put their love for music, their love for Black Metal, them feelings to create a good album. They are like a “small craft beer factory”. In order to give a perfect taste in the brew, to be unique, unmatched, exceptional, incomparable you must give love, dedication, feelings. VANANIDR made it but… In their own way.
To Anders Eriksson (Vocals, Guitars, Bass), Rickard Silversjö (Guitars) and Ljusebring Terrorblaster (Drums), thank you a lot for your dedication and willingness to play Black Metal of excellent quality. One final note. The bass… It is there, but not audible correctly. 9/10 The Key Keeper
9/10 Epic Storm
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