ALBUM REVIEW: Vansind – Mørket


While Scandinavia is famed for its abundance of folk and Viking metal, most of these acts tend to hail from Norway and Sweden rather than Denmark. Even noisy Nordic neighbours Finland seem to produce more acts from the genre; Iceland also giving the Danes a run for their money. 

However, while Denmark might have fewer breakout names of which to boast, the country certainly doesn’t have any shortage of bands ready to make their move.


One such act is Vansind. Based in Slagelse but featuring members from all over the country, the sextet formed in 2019 and now follow up their independently released EP with debut album, Mørket (Mighty Music).


Translated into English as “Darkness”, Mørket is forged in Scandinavian history and Nordic mythology, the band using traditional instruments alongside more conventional weaponry. 


Short intro piece “Den Store Ask” (The Great Ash) sets the scene perfectly with its chanting and deep-throated narration before the uptempo but aggressive “Grib Til Våben” (Take Up Arms) assumes control with the skirl of bagpipes. 


The clear, clean tones of singer Line Burglin and vocal partner J. Asgaard (aka Joachim Asmussen) possesses a fearsome gravel-throated roar, especially when the song blasts into its full-throttle middle section.


“Blodmosen” opens with a Celtic style tin whistle before Mikael Christensen‘s bass leans into a fierce driving rhythm, guitarist Kirk Backarach (also of Iron Fire) delivering his own groove-filled, warlike punch as well as an emotive, precise solo. 


Drummer Danni Lyse Jelsgaard (also of Panzerchrist) opens eight-minute monster ‘Før Dagen Gryr’ (Before the Day Dawns) Rikke Klint Johansen providing tin whistles (as well as all the record’s keyboards and bagpipes), Burglin giving the multifaceted track a distinct Cruachan vibe.


“Den Første Fejde” (The First Feud) leads off with traditional-style vocals before turning into another bagpipe-driven riff monster, Asmussen sounding like Johan Hegg to get his point across. 


Named after an exchange where Vikings would make a sacrifice to the gods in order to receive luck in battle, fertility or even favourable weather, “Blót” opens with the sound of burning wood, whistles and Burglin’s gentle vocals before lifting off with purposeful riffs and authoritative roars.


The acoustic strumming and Jew’s Harp (a.k.a. that boingy thing that Bathory used on “One Rode to Asa Bay”) intro of “Rejsen Mod Nord” (Journey North) soon becomes a surging behemoth of uplifting Scandinavian energy before closer “Frigg” switches its traditional folky campfire melodies for slow, crawling riffs, the song becoming heavier than a fleet of attacking longboats.


Expertly played and crafted with a clear, firm production, Mørket is a fiercely impressive debut that captures both the old and the new in its own unique way.


Buy the album here:


8 / 10