For their debut album, The Rise of Norn, the German melodic death metal band Vagrant have constructed a conceptual narrative concerning the path of an ancient warrior, a tale that in part also seems to be a metaphor for broader ruminations on the depths of human volatility and despair, and the ultimate fragility of existence.
The first single from the album, “Blood On A Crow’s Beak“, happened to be its closing track, a tragic narrative in which the dying warrior seems to share his final thoughts as his body is returned to the land of his birth. Musically, it’s an irresistible gallop of heroic riffing and glorious leads, of compulsive rhythms and scorching vocals, accented by acoustic strumming and ominous keyboard layers.
Now we have a second offering from the album, the record’s longest and most intricate song. “Darkness During The Reign Of A Black Sun” portrays a young warrior’s sinister visions and dreams, in which he foresees a big war that eventually will be his last — yet the vision leaves a question about whether the prophecy can be trusted.