Hailing from Oslo, Norway, the debut of Vanargand with their newest offering Angrboðu.. This is an incredibly raw release with harsh production, 2nd wave riffs, and perfect atmosphere. They have nailed the original cold atmosphere that captured so many back in the 90s. But this isn’t some worship band nor is it just another retro lofi act. Vanargand really hits the mark with this debut and shows a lot of potential for what else they have to come.
There’s little room for comfort here as the piercing feedback of a guitar greets your ears when you start this EP. Its the same the rest of the way, noisy guitars and harsh drumming with deep guttural vocals that cut through like a knife, then slink back into the shadows. Its a rather hectic release with a lot of speed and cold aggression. Its very reminiscent of early Darkthrone or similar bands from the Norwegian 2nd wave. But Vanargand stands out with their modern approach to the song writing and creative riffs that despite the harsh feedback really have a creative force behind them. There are gothic moments as well as more melancholic moments through out this album that really helps build the atmosphere as well. There isn’t much lacking when it comes to musicality, even the added synths are a nice hidden touch on the third track, helping build that atmosphere even more.
This is an interesting debut with that is rather dense. Its 26 minute run time gives you a lot to digest and the hidden details within the EP is something that is certainly rewarding the more you listen to it. From the added synths buried under the noisy guitars or the bestial vocals that are done incredibly well and at times almost sound inhuman. While I can certainly appreciate the lofi album now and again there’s something especially grating about this choice of production. Its fitting and I think hearkens back to the golden days of cassette trading but I think draws back a little bit from the guitars at hand. Still, though, a fitting stylistic choice none the less. This will be another band I’ll be following and hoping for more releases in the future after such a strong debut such as this.