VÄNLADE - IRON AGE (Online Metal Promo)


In these times, albums are often offered as a digital download package, so you just follow the link that is available, download the shit and burn the songs on a CD-R for your own convenience. Online Metal Promo from the USA works this way, and this way of promotion might be discussed, but the final result is the only thing that matters.  Bands that reside in the U.S. don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars on stamps and plastic bubble mailer packages to get their product spread across the globe. It works fast, reliable and you can reach a huge crowd in very short time. Online Metal Promo is actually handling a lot of great bands like: Joe Stump, Lords Of The Trident, Zephaniah, Death Dealer, Cage, Maxxxwell Carslisle, Ross The Boss, Skinner, Ravensthorn, Diamond Lane and Hessler, just to name a few!

Vänlade from Kansas City in the U.S. released their debut album ‘Iron Age’ in 2012 on Stormspell Records, but seems to be an unsigned band nowadays. To get that release throughout the world,  they joined forces with Online Metal Promo to promote their debut album. The band got in touch with a recording studio around 2007 when they decided to record a demo for the first time. Three years later, they entered the studio again for the recording of their second demo, titled ‘Vänlade Demo 2010’. The three song from that session feature also the debut album, which has a total duration of 45 minutes. It seems like the lineup remained the same with CC Spearhead on drums, Brett Blackout is the vocalist , while Nikky Skorcher takes duty on the Bass strings. The fourth member, and it seems to be the mastermind of the band is guitar player Zach Vanlade who seems to be the founding member of his band. As many times happened in the past, U.S. guitarplayers are really well skilled and are capable to add a typical U.S. Metal approach to the songs.  Well, this one is fitting for Vänlade for sure as we get really outstanding guitars in the songs. 

All this musical talent is wrapped and surrounded by lyrics that fit to the songs as well. Their Power Metal combines topics of Fantasy, Death and Historical Characters, and that’s how we can listen to stories of our natural enemies in the track ‘Hypernova’, Templars that fight their Holy War in ‘Life By The Blade’ and the wonderful ‘Blood Eagle’ that reminds me of the Vikings series, Season 2, Episode 7 where this method of execution took place and is hailed and praised in Norse sagas and skaldic poetry. ‘Screaming Metal Deathtrap’ is a bonus track that is added on this re-release, and at first I had Ted Nugent in mind. The guitar parts and even the vocals have a lot of resemblances to this Gonzo shredder. 

Fans of typical U.S. Metal are obliged to get hold on this band as you will get a flashback to the 80’s but at the same time with a nowadays approach. Vänlade is a bunch of skilled musicians with the love of true U.S. Metal in their hearts! High pitched vocals, excellent guitars and a rhythm section that is pure and solid!  Hopefully Online Metal Promo will be the leverage that this band needs to demand their spot on the metal map! But the future looks bright as a new album is scheduled to be released in 2015 as ‘Rage Of The Gods’, and to refine the overall sound of the band, they added a second guitar player named Vinnie Lee Camarillo, so I guess that outstanding U.S. metal hymns are ahead of us!

My rating: 88 / 100


95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish