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4.00 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2021

Filed under Power Metal


01. Vagabond (3:46)
02. Back to Mad (4:41)
03. Nightmares (4:55)
04. Keep the Flame Alive (6:09)
05. End of the World (5:23)
06. The Darker Side (6:03)
07. I Believe (4:23)
08. Save the Best for Last (5:38)
09. Blind the Enemy (4:31)
10. From White to Black (4:22)
11. Striking Back (4:30)

Total Time 54:21


- Dominik Stotzem / Bass
- André Hilgers / Drums
- Carsten Stepanowicz / Guitars
- Herbie Langhans / Vocals

About this release

Released May 7, 2021, on Frontiers Records.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Time Signature
Keep the metal alive...

Genre: traditional heavy metal with power metal elements

Take the best of two eras of traditional heavy metal (i.e. the 80s and the 2010s) and throw in some power metal epicness, and the result is very likely to be Sonic Haven's "Vagabond". The album is a masterclass i strong songwriting and how to use melody in a metal context.

The albums opens with a bang in the form of the uptempo title track which combines power metal sensibilities with a 'Kill the King'-vibe. The following track 'Back to Mad' is a midtempo melodic metal track with modern metal elements and some neat Priest-esque riffage. 'Nightmares' similarly draws on solid riffage and brings in a slight atmospheric orientation in the verses neatly juxtaposed with a super catchy chorus. 'Keep the Flame Alive' is a midtempo ballad which takes on a symphonico-epic nature; rich in guitar harmonies, the song also exploits the dynamics of rising and falling intensity. 'End of the World' is another epic song with power metal undercurrents and a catchy chorus. The next track, 'The Darker Side' is a more brooding and heavy affair which contrasts nicely with the more uplifting nature of the overall feel of the album. 'I Believe', a super melodic power metal track, is pretty much the polar opposite of 'The Darker Side'. 'Save the Best for Last' is another epic ballad. Unlike 'Keep the Flame Alive', this one is a bit too cheesy for my taste, and I much prefer the following track, 'Blind the Enemy' which is an uptempo power metal track which even contains elements that are slightly reminiscent of the very early days of Metallica. Along with 'The Darker Side', this is probably my favorite track on the album. The two last tracks are enjoyable, cathcy and slightly epic too.

The songwriting on the album is characterized by a melodic sensibility and a deep understanding of the magic of hooks. Overall, there is a slight sense of epicness to the album, but it rarely goes overboard into cheeseland. The musiciansip is also top notch, as listeners are treated to tasty guitar solos, captivating twin guitar melodies, and rock solid drumming. Herbie Langhans' vocals are slightly raspy and more oriented towards rock 'n' roll than epic power metal, but it actually works quite well as it is in line with the more old scholl heavy metal components of the album.

Sonic Haven's "Vagabond" seamlessly balances the melodic and epic feel of power metal with the magic of 80s metal riffage. Overall, we are dealing with a very catchy album which should appeal to fans of old school heavy metal along with contemporary melodic power metal enthusiasts.

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