Vanhelgd – Deimos Sanktuarium
Vanhelgd has been around for over ten years now, but really found their sound and got more well deserved attention because of their two latest albums, “Relics of Sulphur Salvation” (2014) and “Temple of Phobos” (2016). Following the pattern of a new album every two years it’s now time for the release of “Deimos Sanktuarium”. An album that the band’s frontman, Mattias Frisk, describes as “Hard to get and without any hits. Definitely not a party record.”. Is this the case? I would say yes, but all in a very positive sense. Just like AOR should be cheesy and accessible, great extreme metal does something out of the ordinary and challenges the listener a bit.
The album is recorded at Studio Underjord and mixed at Necromorbus Studios, so you know it’s going to sound excellent. Unlike the earlier recordings by Vanhelgd the sound is pretty dry and “close” in contrast to the earlier insane amounts of reverb and delay. Both ways have their good and bad aspects, but the new sound makes a bold statement that something has changed. The music isn’t a world apart from what the band has done earlier, it’s just much more emotional and somehow darker. You can feel the desperation in the voice in songs like “Vi föddes i samma grav” and “The Silent Observer”. The heavily doom-inspired guitars in “The Ashes of Our Defeat” sends a chill down your spine and the sheer heaviness of this album is clearly evident throughout.
The listener gets served a unique type of death metal which is only made by the great bands who understand the genre, as well as they aren’t afraid to explore it and wander outside of it’s borders to serve the good of the material. Besides death metal there’s hints of both doom, black and folk music in the songs of “Deimos Sanktuarium”. When the clean vocal arrangements in the end of “The Silent Observer”, and in the closing track “Här finns ingen nåd”, comes in there’s really not much more to do than capitulate and realize that there is some seriously great craftsmanship involved in Vanhelgd’s songwriting. Put this album on your want list, it’ll be worth it.
Title: Deimos Sanktuarium
Label: Pulverised Records
Date of release: 2018-10-12
Stand out track: Här finns ingen nåd