Vanha – Melancholia

This second full length for the solo project of Swedish Jan Johansson, called Vanha, gives us a new wonderful musical reality able to enchant the lovers of melodic death doom. Melancholia is a work containing evocative cues that follow each other without interruption and put this musician at the top of the genre in his country, given the end of When Nothing Remains and the continuing lack of new work by Johan Ericson’s Doom:Vs. Jan handles the material exactly as those who love it expect, so in the album you will find nothing but what the title promises. The six medium-long tracks are developed by constantly exhibiting an aching feeling that finds, then, punctually vent in magnificent guitar cues and it’s really hard to choose one or the other track as a possible emblem of the goodness of the work. If I had to do so, I’d personally opt for the tracks set in the middle of the album, Starless Sleep, with its rhythms further slowed down and with Johansson’s six strings offering tear-jerking lines, and, above all, Your Heart In My Hands, seven minutes of emotion caused by the alternation of a light piano touch to the usual jumble of melodies that are always evocative and never cloying. Melancholia is a mature and impeccable work, from any point of view: not even the configuration of a one man band can undermine the value of what is destined to remain one of the best works of 2019 in the melodic death doom field.

2018 – Black Lion Records