This album is one that I have been meaning to write about for a while. And although its only been out since the summer, as soon as the free download was available I immersed myself in it. The CD itself is a concept album, following the deeds of Erek. I highly recommend reading the lyrics while listening to it.
Musically, this CD is very diverse. Ranging from death, to folk, to Viking, to progressive, to deathcore, really all over the place. It differs itself from the EP as well, kind of a new fresh taste from the Vanguard camp. Between each song, there is usually an interlude, with "Olaf" telling part of the tale.
The music itself though, is very talented. And although this CD has a good amount of breakdowns, they tend to use them in the music very well. The keys are absolutely outstanding, as well as the guitars. Tyler is a very talented young man, to be able to play keys and guitar as well as he does. The vocals have improved a significant amount from the EP as well, they seem to have more balls behind them. What is really exciting is that REAL drums were used for this release, not electronic ones. There are also a lot of catchy bass lines in the music too.
I would HIGHLY suggest you go download this, seeing as there is a link on their myspace page to do so (www.myspace.com/vanguardsymphony). For an overall rating I would give this a 98/100. This by far my favorite metal release of the year though.