Album Reviews

Holter – Vlad the Impaler Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Metal

https://www.facebook.com/HolterOfficial/

Line Up:

Nils K Rue: Male lead Vocals
Eva Iselin Erichsen: Female lead vocals
Trond Holter: Guitars
Bernt Jansen: Bass
Per Morten Bergseth: Drums
Erling Henanger: Synth/Keyboards

Tracklist:

The World`s On Fire
Awakened
Drums Of Doom
The Last Generation
I`ll Die For You
Shadows Of Love
Without You
Under My Skin
Vlad The Impaler
Save Me Part II

 

If you heard the Lande/Holter album Dracula from 2015 you were privy to a project that was massive in scope and brilliant in creation. Trond Holter, ex-guitarist for the band WigWam, put together what was to be a one-off project of music based on the Dracula story. With the amazing Jorn Lande on vocals, it was nothing short of stunning. Having a fair amount of material left over, Holter decided the one-off project would continue, this time focusing on the real-life influence for Dracula, Vlad the Impaler. I was instantly intrigued to hear the album to see if it would hold up to the first. It delivers just as massively.

Entitled Vlad the Impaler, the album is a rousing and bombastic display of pure genius. The music is grand, majestic and very moving, with songs that not only tell the story but make you feel a part of it. This is not only a concept album but a grand symphony, a metallic opera featuring the vocal prowess of Nils K Rue of Pagan’s Mind and Eva Iselin Erichsen handling the female parts. Hearing Rue in this environment was great because it is a departure, more or less, from his usual stuff, and it was nice to hear him step outside of his norm. He proves, without a doubt, that he is a more than capable singer, bringing Vlad to life. Erichsen is the perfect foil, their voices melding together perfectly. Holter delivers some brilliant fretwork, but more importantly some mesmerizing songs like “Awakened,” “I’ll Die For You,” and the epic album closer “Save Me Part II.” Even if you don’t follow along with the storyline there are some brilliant performances here.

Often when you get a concept album of this nature it is tough to hear individual songs, but Holter has created a collection that works just as well as single songs as it does a conceptual deal. Both Dracula and Vlad the Impaler were great departures from his time with the Norwegian Glam Metal band, and though I enjoyed what he did with WigWam, I feel like this is a better project for his talent. Now we wait to see what he has in store next, but until then Vlad the Impaler will more than suffice to keep the fans satiated.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 8/10

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