Vhäldemar - Against All Kings

Vhäldemar Against All Kings cover
Against All Kings
Fighter Records
I was trying hard to think what Vhäldemar reminded me. There are obvious Manowar, Accept (Tornillo era) and Gamma Ray (mostly in the past) comparisons to be made with these Basques that have been going on since 1999, but it’s Carlos Escudero’s vocals (he also plays guitar) that make them sound a lot like Civil War, as he seems to be a Nils Patrick Johansson doppelganger, a complete vocal twin.
They seem both competent in what they do as well as instrumentally capable, so much so that I must say I found their songs less plastic and derivative than Civil War’s cheap Sabaton knock offs. Needless to say, is that while I think of Brodin as one of the worst singers of the genre, Johansson’s and by extension this guy’s raspy Donald duck take on Kai Hansen with “Dio”-esque eruptions, is the equivalent of Chinese torture. Which is a shame, cause otherwise, “Against All Kings” is thoroughly enjoyable, if you’re looking for “simple” straight forward power metal in the style of Sabaton and Civil War, to the point it could really be said that it can look them straight in the eye without feeling any lesser.
Again as I said, that’s hardly my cup of tea, as I prefer singers that are a lot more adventurous and arrangements that dare to be more complicated and by extension interesting. Still if you’re a fan of the aforementioned Swedish acts, you won’t be disappointed…