By Crom! A new Power Metal band on the scene calling themselves ‘Vanquisher’. The Swedish band’s début album is titled ‘An Age Undreamed Of’. The entire album is dedicated to Conan The Barbarian, and even quotes some passages from the original Robert E. Howard books. It’s barbaric Power Metal! Fit for a thief, a reaver, a slayer to tread the jewelled kingdoms beneath their sandalled feet.
The band members are obvious fans of the franchise as they dress up in loin cloth and padded armour that you’d expect from a barbarian tribe of these classic stories. Their lyrics are true to the lore of the world, ranging from odes to the various great kingdoms to power ballads about Conan’s greatest battles. As someone who has read the books, I was grinning from ear-to-ear when I realised what some of the songs were about. ‘Trapped on Shamu’s Plain’ is a song based on the first act of The Scarlet Citadel where Conan, now King of Aquilonia, finds himself alone and betrayed against his foes. The hatred and anger in the delivery of the lyrics sounds like it is straight from Conan’s mouth and this song is basically a musical retelling of the first act of that story.
Cimmeria is a poem written by Robert E. Howard talking about Conan’s homeland, or rather his memories of that dark and gloomy land. It sounds beautiful sang with a solemn acoustic guitar in the background that turns into a sharp electric guitar that makes me want to climb to cloud piercing peaks where I stand overlooking the valleys below.
Vanquisher makes me think of Manowar. To be honest, at times I actually thought I was listening to Manowar during some songs. This band is carrying on with that Battle hardened and fantasy themed Power Metal from yesteryear.
This band came out of nowhere for me and it amazes me how a character written 90 years ago during the Great Depression is still inspiring bands to this day. Though, Conan as a character has been kept alive through comics, movies and video games. The books seem to stand as reliant as the lead character against the test of time.
So by the gods, to hell with your delicate sensibilities and bang your head to this sheer barbaric metal that is themed around one of the greatest fantasy characters ever made!