Review SONIC HAVEN ‘Vagabond’

Sonic Haven is a new powerhouse from Germany with band members, being for sure no rookies. Sonic Haven is the brainchild of metal frontman Herbie Langhans, known from numerous projects and bands. Recently Langhans enriched the latest Firewind album with his vocals and guitarist Gus G. had a lot of kind words about the collaboration.

Sonic Haven has a foundation in melodic power metal with German roots and what fans get offered with this longplayer is a treat. Langhans, together with André Hilgers, Carsten Stepanowicz and Dominik Stotzem, crafted and recorded eleven excellent metal anthems. Melodies and hook lines are terrific, finding the sweet-spot of heaviness and catchiness.

With Langhans producing the record and no less than Sascha Paeth handling the mixing, the eleven songs on ‘Vagabond’ are a sonic boost with the title track leading things off. Furious guitars is what hits the eardrums first and one thing is apparent right away: this album is about metal. Regardless if we are talking about the flaming opener or the anthemic ‘Keep the Flame Alive’, each of these eleven songs is a great example of what melodic metal can bring to life.

This tracklisting doesn’t include moments of boredom and lazy riffing is what’s not present at all. In contrary. Listen to the heavy pounding ‘The Darker Side’ is dark metal joy, being the slo-mo tune on ‘Vagabond’ and still offers a lot of gloomy power. ‘I Believe’ serves a wider audience and the same goes for the power ballad ‘Save the Best For Last’. The latter is well-crafted and at the same time bit of Hausmannskost on ‘Vagabond’. Not bad but also not a highlight. The finale offers another blast with ‘Striking Back’. Power riffs unfold their beauty, raspy vocals add edges and keyboards contribute with density and melody. ‘Striking Back’ is a great way to round off a cool longplayer.

Power metal enthusiasts that embrace a good hookline should have this album on the shopping list. Langhans and Sonic Haven deliver excellent melodic metal that brings a positive vibe to the plate. ‘Vagabond’ surprises in a good way and I would say: Don’t miss it.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  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

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Power Metal

Release Date EU: May 7th, 2021

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