Sonic Haven-Vagabond

Spread the metal:

Reviewed:  June 2021

Released:  May 2021, Frontiers Music SRL

Rating:  3/5

Reviewer:  Buddy H

Everyone knows the age old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”  While true for many things, more often than not, you can tell what kind of listening experience lies ahead of you when studying the album artwork of most bands.  Sonic Haven is a new project from Firewind vocalist, Herbie Langhans. As I carefully examined the album artwork for their new release, VAGABOND, I had a really good idea of what I was about to hear.  My gut feeling was absolutely correct!

So, what is this new metal beast, Sonic Haven?  What we have here is 100% pure adrenaline driven German melodic power metal – nothing more, nothing less.  Fans of Helloween will definitely feel right at home with Sonic Haven. Sounding eerily similar to Andi Deris, Herbie’s vocals are delivered with emotion, power and conviction and fit this style of music perfectly.  The drums and bass, provided by Andre’ Hilgers and Dominik Stotzem respectively, lay the fist pumping foundation on which these power metal anthems are built.  Guitarist Carsten Stepanowicz is a breath of fresh air and delivers some very impressive lead work throughout the entire album!

Galloping guitars, twin guitar melody lines and double kick drums are in abundance here.  Again, stylistically, Sonic Haven lands firmly in the Helloween camp.  Standout tunes include the pounding title track, “Vagabond”, “Keep The Flame Alive” with its scorching leadwork, and “I Believe” with yet another superb lead from Stepanowicz. The only issue I have with this collection is that it really doesn’t provide anything I haven’t heard before. Sonic Haven are not blazing any new trails.  That’s not to say that VAGABOND is bad.  It’s not bad at all.  Listen with an open mind and I guarantee you will find plenty of power metal goodness to sink your teeth into!

Track Listing:

  1. Vagabond
  2. Back To Mad
  3. Nightmares
  4. Keep The Flame Alive
  5. End Of The World
  6. The Darker Side
  7. I Believe
  8. Save The Best For Last
  9. Blind The Enemy
  10. From White To Black
  11. Striking Back

Line Up:

Herbie Langhans – Vocals

Carsten Stepanowicz – Lead and Rhythm Guitar

Dominik Stotzem – Bass

Andre’ Hilgers – Drums

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