Background/The Band: Scandinavia is very well known for its black and heavy metal underground music scene. Countless bands who blend the heavy metal genre with elements of symphonics, melodics, and the atmospheric variant are active in a day-to-day basis within the black metal community. While not much is known about this project, Vaivatar presents itself as an up-and-coming underground black metal outfit local to Finland, having released their debut full-length album onto Bandcamp just late last week. Does the new album set the new band apart from the rest of the chaff?
Album Breakdown: Vanitas is a lengthy, eleven track release that consists of over an hour in length symphonic black metal. Vaivatar throws in a ton of instrumental variety, inclduing the utilization of piano lines, varying tempos, a wide array of guitar riffs, as well as a solid wall of ambiance to back it all up. The album's themes seemingly revolve around lyricism linked to pirates, violence, murder and sorrow.
The Pros: Vaivatar's latest release has a lot to offer. For instance, you've got your piano-based melodies and striking chord riffs in "Punishment Is Due", a strongly built dark and bone-chilling atmosphere in tracks like "Pioneer's Courage" and "Sleep", as well as the brutality and fast-paced blast-beating found in songs such as "Hekabe" and "Maria". The overall composition ends on a high note with "Consolation". In general, Vanitas is a rather eclectic mixed bag of sorts with a wide variety of different sounds, timing, and transitions. The album's pristine production quality and energetic vocals help a lot. This release is bound to keep its listeners on their toes and entertained throughout.
The Cons: Nothing notable really comes to mind in terms of criticism in regards to Vanitas. The album is a perfect symphonic blend of dark, heavy, melodic and cinematic...and it makes this reviewer want even more of what's it worth, despite the already lengthy running time.
The Verdict: Vaivatar's debut album is strikingly memorable and dynamic in pretty much all aspects of its genre. The release is devoid of any notable faults, and it is a recommended listen to any and all fanatics of the symphonic and melodic black metal sounds.
Fave Tracks: "Punishment Is Due", "Pioneer's Courage", "Maria"
**Vanitas by symphonic black metal band Vaivatar is available digitally now on:**
Review by: Dave Raffy
-Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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