Title: Shadows over Stygia
Genre: Power Metal / Epic Metal
Release Date: March 2nd 2019
I never realized how many bands seem to absolutely love the work of Robert E. Howard and especially his brutish, stoic Cimmerian named Conan. VANQUISHER from Sweden are no exception, the EP “Shadows over Stygia” tells two tales about Conan and his encounters with Set, the Serpent God, and his followers. We get the full package: spoken word intros, epic vocals, enchanting melodies and riffs galore. Johan Jönsson on vocals has many moments that remind me of SAVATAGE’S Jon Oliva, Robin Malm and Pontus Hurtig share hook and riffing responsibilities and do a great job at that (ICED EARTH and MANOWAR seem to be main inspirations sound-wise). Last but not least: the rhythm section! Glenn Malm on Bass and John Larson on drums build the frame for the escalating melodic endeavours of Robin, Pontus and Johan. Larsson’s drums are very audible and dominant and they start and end the narrative but Glenn Malms bass is barely audible which sucks but maybe that is due to me not listening to music on full blast (never!). It happens quite often with bands that have two guitars involved in the mix. But behold! It is not a deal-breaker because the rest is fucking awesome!
Conclusion: if you like Power Metal and the mentioned bands you should check this out right now!
Rating: 8 / 10