Vanquished
Black Northern Storm

Four guys up in Ontario Canada really , really like Dark Funeral, Immortal and Marduk and they do a pretty admirable job of paying homage to them on their blistering debut (label released) album Black Northern Storm.

Now this is my first exposure to these lads, so I’m not sure how Black Northern Storm stands up to the previous two self released efforts, but I’m guessing the Marduk/Dark Funeral worship style hasn’t changed that much. The expected mix of razor sharp speed with a melodically seething undercurrent is prevalent in most of the songs and there are a few controlled moments of controlled menace. The guitar tone is nice and frosty without being to over produced or grating and the bass and especially the drums are audible.

Opening with the expected windswept sample, “Ravaging the Shores” begins the very Scandinavian assault with a nicely varied pace and pretty impressive delivery. “Immemorial” is a bit more immediately urgent and scathing with nice harmony line amid the vortex and early Ulver like bass lines. The rest of the album pretty much falls in line with what you’d expect from a Marduk/Immortal inspired album, with little deviation, and that maybe the only real downfall. That being said, they do it with aplomb and plenty of memorable riffs and conviction. “Weaving Time In Vain” has a nice slowdown, the title track has some nice time changes, “Ascendancy of the Boreal Wake” has a nice atmospheric introductory gait before exploding into a more typical black metal storm then more windswept (Vanquished like the wind apparently-it appears a few times) sampling and a synth outro, a tangent I would have like to have heard more of.

A good, solid no frills album that does the source material justice, maybe a little too much, but is still a enjoyable, well produced and executed listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 27th, 2006

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