Vhäldemar – Sanctuary of Death Review

A Fusion of Greats: Manowar and Hammerfall Echoes in Vhäldemar's Sound...

Label: MDD Records

Date: May 9th, 2024

Genre: Power Metal

Links: https://www.vhaldemar.net/

 

Line Up:

Carlos Escudero – Vocals
Pedro J. Monge – Guitar & B-Vocals
Raúl Serrano – Bass
Jandro – Drums
Jonkol Tera – Keyboards

 

Tracklist:

01. Devil´s Child
02. Dreambreaker
03. Deathwalker
04. Sanctuary Of Death
05. Forevermore
06. Heavy Metal
07. Old King´s Visions (Part VII)
08. Journey To The Unknown
09. Brothers
10. The Rebel´s Law
11. The Last Flame

 

Vhäldemar, hailed as Spain’s premier heavy metal ensemble for an English-speaking audience, has amassed an impressive 25-year tenure. Their musical style, akin to pure power metal, resonates with echoes of iconic acts such as Dio and Helloween. Given such esteemed comparisons, it is evident that Vhäldemar deserves greater recognition, a prospect that their latest release, Sanctuary of Death, may well facilitate. For those, like myself, who are new to the band, there exists a comprehensive discography, spanning from 2002’s Fight To The End to their latest offering, 2020’s Straight To Hell, awaiting exploration and appreciation.

Carlos Escudero skillfully channels the spirit of Ronnie James Dio, buoyed by Pedro J. Monge’s dynamic riffs, crystalline breaks, and evocative solos. The ensemble, rounded out by Raúl Serrano on bass, Jandro on drums, and Jonkol Tera on keyboards, at times evokes the melodic sensibilities of bands like Stratovarius and the classic era of Rhapsody.

The eponymous title track stands as a fitting introduction, showcasing meticulous craftsmanship, expansive scale, and meticulous production values that leave one lamenting not having discovered the band sooner.

In tracks such as Forevermore, the band effortlessly traverses a mellower terrain without compromising their inherent grit, a feat that is sure to resonate with aficionados of bands like Manowar. Conjuring an amalgamation of Manowar‘s ethos with the stylistic inclinations of Hammerfall offers a tantalizing glimpse into Vhäldemar‘s sonic identity.

This offering serves as a testament to the enduring quality of Spanish heavy metal craftsmanship.

 

Score: 9/10

Reviewed by: Adrian Hextall

 

 

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