Basque power metallers Vhäldemar have been in existence in some form or another since the late nineties, and this EP is designed as a teaser for a new album to be released on their new label Fighter Records later on this year.
At the most basic level Vhäldemar operate in the tried and true Euro power/speed metal arena, a fact signified by the presence on the EP of a spirited cover of Helloween chestnut Gorgar. On their own material, the band purvey a highly competent, at times exciting take on their chosen genre. Opener 1366 (Old King’s Visions Pt V) is a genuinely thrilling piece of neoclassical power metal, fusing pyrotechnics from guitarist Pedro Monge and keyboard player Jonkol Tera to a gritty vocal from Carlos Escudero with splendid results.
That vocal comes to the fore on the chuggy yet melodic I Will Stand Forever, which is a pleasing combination of Grave Digger and Running Wild, with Monge again contributing some great lead work. The final original track on the EP, Howling at the Moon, isn’t quite as memorable as the first two tracks but isn’t a duffer by any means, and that Gorgar cover rounds things out in suitably rip-roaring fashion.
Short and sweet, then, but as a tantalus for the upcoming album this EP has certainly done it’s job, because I for one can’t wait to hear that full-lengther when it comes out.