HOLTER – Vlad The Impaler [Japan Edition +1] (2018)
Frontiers Music will release HOLTER‘s album “Vlad The Impaler” on November 9, and tomorrow, ready for Halloween, will appear in Japan including a bonus track.
Initially born as a one-off musical extravaganza between two Norwegian metal and hard rock musicians Trond Holter (ex-Wig Wam, Dream Police) and vocalist Jorn Lande, the duo’s Dracula Rock Opera has now morphed into a full-time musical project with guitarist, producer and songwriter Holter at the helm.
While the original plan was to leave 2015’s collaborative ‘Swing Of Death’ as a unique one-off recording, the success that Holter subsequently enjoyed in staging the album as a musical in Norwegian theaters convinced him that a follow-up was not only possible, but perhaps even mandatory.
He was already sitting on plenty of new material and felt inspired to tell more stories of Dracula and other vampires that did not find a home in the storyline of that first album.
The result of this new inspiration is “Vlad The Impaler.” Vlad, also known as Vlad Dracula, was Voivode (or prince) of Wallachia three times and is the historical figure that inspired the famous legends about Dracula.
With an outstanding line-up featuring singers Nils K Rue (Pagan’s Mind) and Eva Iselin Erichsen, Bernt Jansen (Baby Snakes, Wig Wam, ex-Jorn) on bass, Per Morten Bergseth (Source of Tide, ex-Fracture) on drums, and Erling Henanger on keyboards, “Vlad The Impaler” starts where ‘Swing Of Death’ left off.
Musically, it is an album that gets straight to the point while simultaneously utilizing diverse musical landscapes and includes catchy and melodic songs in a similar style to it’s predecessor.
Think Lords Of Black / Jorn meets Meat Loaf meets Queen meets Alice Cooper with contemporary hard rock in the mix and you’ll have a sense of what’s in store.
While ‘metallic’ in its delivery, Holter, as said is plent on hard rock groove and layered harmony vocals. At places, vintage Helloween comes to mind, also Martin Kronlund’s solo album and a bit of Jorn solo / his previous band Millennium.
“Vlad The Impaler” is benefited by the songs being mostly around the four minute mark, and flows easily thanks to its melodic nature and synths / keyboard atmospheres. Production is top notch.
01. Worlds On Fire
03. Drums Of Doom
04. The Last Generation
05. I’ll Die For You
06. Shadows Of Love
07. Without You
08. Under My Skin
09. Vlad The Impaler
10. Save Me Part II
11. Shadows Of Love (Acoustic Version) (Japan Bonus Track)
Trond Holter – Guitars (Baby Snakes, ex-Jorn, Wig Wam, Dream Police)
Nils K Rue – Male lead Vocals
Eva Iselin Erichsen – Female lead vocals
Bernt Jansen – Bass (Baby Snakes, Wig Wam, ex-Jorn)
Per Morten Bergseth – Drums (Source of Tide, ex-Fracture)
Erling Henanger – Synths, Keyboards