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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: Vampyrsgard - Phantom Der Nacht

The debut album from Spanish black metal band Vampyrsgard comes off as a rather intriguing and at times enjoyable release from a band without any releases prior to this point. Released November 26, 2015 from The Horror Dimension, this doesn't come off as a terrible debut and offers some enjoyable elements within here.

From the onset this here seems to be set-up primarily as a rather traditional outfit just with a much more melodic bent to the music. The main genesis is still swirling tremolo-picked patterns straight from the second-wave Norwegian originators in the mid-90s, though they get balanced out by much heavier melodic leads running throughout the tracks. With efforts like 'Vampyrsgard' and 'Fallen' utilizing a more mid-tempo and plodding pace while 'Sensual Neck' and 'Phantom der Nacht' going for a more up-tempo variety to really work nicely overall here in making this work within the confines of its simplistic style here of it holding onto a steady pace without overdoing or needlessly complicating itself than it really has to. This does feel very nice when the tracks work, but it can lead to deathly boring affairs when the pacing and songwriting aren't up to par. It's a problem inherent in the tracks due to the band's overall inexperience and youthful age where it hasn't had the opportunity in really honing in on their prefered style rather than just jumping out with a full-length effort right from the start.

Though the band's inexperience and youth does become apparent at times throughout here, there's enough quality and worthwhile moments here that it doesn't hold back to where it should end up appealing quite nicely with fans of older black metal or those that prefer the slower, heavier side of the genre. 8/10

Written by Don Anelli

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