Reviewed: April 2018
Released: February 16th, 2018 / Metalville
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Reviewer: John Haseltine
Most notably known for his superb fret skills with Winterlong and Sabaton, the guitar virtuoso Thobbe Englund is back with his latest solo effort THE DRAINING OF VERGELMER. What looks to be his 5th release as a solo project, it may or may not be one to get excited about.
I do have a Sabaton album or two from when they first hit the scene. Not that I didn’t like them, I just never got into them. No reason why, I just didn’t. With that said, I have also not listened to any of Thobbe’s previous works either. So this review is based on this album. As with any review, that is how it should be.
So, this one does not have that umph that I was expecting at first. Although the guitar work here is second to none, I will give him that. There are a couple of tracks that I thought were a bit catchy and somewhat memorable that I would consider leaving on my portable player, but only a couple. “Illuminati” is a bit more of the pop metal sound, but it sort of strikes you as being something you’ve heard before. The instrumental “Odin’s Hall” is probably my favorite track on the album. Fast and shredding soloing throughout with a chunky rhythm behind it that does get the ‘ole noggin moving a bit.
I really don’t have anything bad to say about this album. Other than the fact that after a few spins, it has not left much of an impression on me. It could be the similarities to other bands that it may lack a bit of originality. Not that every band pulls that off, but even if by just a bit, it is enough for me.
Overall it is a fairly decent offering. It does tend to fall a bit more on the side of commercial metal. Well, by that I mean metal with a pop edge to it while still being a bit on the hard rock side. Like Alcatraz, Edguy, U.F.O., Pyramaze, and Scorpions with the uncompromising guitar work of a master of his craft.