VANIR: Danish Vikings release new album "Sagas"
The Danish musical answer to Amon Amarth and Ensiferum
Photo by Tine Hviid Roger
From the Sagas of old, to the halls of Valhalla, from Danish and Germanic battlefields with their bloody battles and fierce warriors, Danish warriors Vanir are back and have put together, without compromise, a new epic album, with a fascination with our common origins, and the blood spilled throughout history. Few bands have more authority to do so: Vanir is one of Denmark’s most well-known and prominent Viking melodic death metal bands. The group has, since it’s inception, released five full-length albums very well received by the media and the avid supporters of the genre. But one can say, without much hesitation, their sixth effort “Sagas” is their best yet.
Written and recorded during the pandemics, mixed and mastered by Rune Stiassny (Iron Fire, ex-Saturnus), “Sagas” is mostly themed around Nordic mythology, but also has a song dedicated to one of the most important fantasy writers in history - J.R.R. Tolkien - who was himself greatly inspired by Nordic mythology and Denmark. On the other hand, a song such as “Black Clad”, has a double-edge sword: it is written as a tribute to the Norse god Brage, but also as a tribute to the fans of metal. The fans that support the scene and who will be the backbone of the live scene in the post-pandemic. Martin Rubini, Vanir’s vocalist, comments: “During the pandemic the world of music was turned upside down, this album has been our anchor in the creative part of our lives in a period where all our shows was cancelled and we still needed to be creative and do what we enjoy, playing metal. With “Sagas” we continue the route we laid out with “Aldar Rök” and “Allfather” and the vision we have for Vanir”.
Such is the Vanir approach to themes in 2022: melodic and fierce soundscapes, with lyrical strings tied to mythology and heathen paganism, but not ending there. “Sagas” artwork portraits this with a mixture of various Norse mythical imageries. It is inspired by the idea of fate and the Norns, which are here interpreted as a singular being, displaying various aspects of fate, while intertwined in its threads. It shows an elegant and feminine and strong imagery. The artwork was done by the bassist Lars Bundvad. “For this album, I didn’t write any music”, he explains. “Having been sidelined due to the pandemic - my immune system is not terribly robust - I wanted to go the extra mile and push myself for the artwork. The Norn portraits a strong feminine character and a sage who holds both wisdom and power. And I’m very happy with the result”.
“Sagas” is out today on CD, LP (two different colours, each limited to 300 units) and digital formats via Mighty Music. Orders can be placed here.
""Sagas" is definitely a must-have" Metalized Magazine 9/10
"With "Sagas" Vanir have outdone themselves and released a Viking folk heavyweight without any slacks" Metal-only.de 10/10
"This is a large leap forward for Vanir" Powerplay Magazine 8/10
"It's a long-player on which all twelve tracks are favorites for me" Hellfire Magazin 9/10
"Epic melodic and a fierce soundscape highlighted through the vocals and guitars on all12 tracks" Folk-metal.nl 8/10
"Armed with its raw and hooking roots, Vanir offers a very solid and seizing album" Acta Infernalis 9/10
"The mighty Odin should be content with what the six Norsemen have offered him (and us!)" Metal.de 8/10
"Vanir delivers a textbook example of the genre done right, which should elevate their profile closer towards Amon Amarth's sole dominance here in the Nordics" Rockfreaks.net 8/10
"“Sagas” is Vanir at their roaring best, doing what they are known for – and then some, blending all that animosity with experience to deliver Viking Metal as they know it should be delivered" Ave Noctum 8/10
"A powerful album written during pandemics, and a scream of rage that exudes an infinite thirst of conquest" Metalhead.it 8/10
"Chest-thumping and blood-boiling Viking melodic metal from an authentic source" Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life 8/10
"This band gives you an up-and-coming evening" Rock Tribune 7,5/10
"Fans of the (sub)genre in general and certainly fans of Amon Amarth already know what to do: get this trade straight away" Musika 90/100
"Vanir serves us a real winter soup with "Sagas", warm and powerful, full of vitamins for better days. A feast of guttural riffs and choirs" Hard Force