Vanquished - Black Northern Storm - 2005 - Krankenhaus Records
1. Ravaging the Shores 2. Immemorial 3. Weaving Time in Vain 4. Ruins of Religious Tradition 5. Black Northern Storm 6. Left Behind 7. The Abyssal Plain 8. Ascendancy of the Boreal Wake 9. Untitled Bonus
Vanquished presume themselves superior to other Canadian black metal due to the fact that they come from “The great white north of North Ontario Bay” and not from inferior locations such as Windsor or Toronto. This attitude is sort of foolish, despite the fact that is was with the same superior attitude that the black metal bands of old took Norway, and then the world, by storm. Unfortunately for Vanquished, those days are long past, and now if a black metal band wants to succeed they must not only avoid sounding like Immortal clones but also tone down the dramatic act a bit. Vanquished fail at both.
“Black Northern Storm” is not really a terrible album; it’s just not a good album either. With nine tracks of almost identical-sounding one-riff black metal, guitarists/vocalists Dertah and Grimnyr show a decent amount of talent but little to no creativity. Likewise, drummer Warhammer is extremely fast, but doesn’t do much more than create noise. None of the tracks are unpleasant to listen to, but why settle for second-best? Immortal, Darkthrone, or any of the classic old-school acts have done exactly what Vanquished are doing, and they did it better. I would recommend passing on the album not because Vanquished have done something wrong but because they haven’t done anything right.
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