Henk : In July 2016 Thobbe Englund decides to leave the super popular Sabaton. He has come to the conclusion that he prefers to live a more peaceful life and Sabaton gets too big and is on tour too often. Stopping with music is not the plan, so he makes solo albums. 'The Draining Of Vergelmer' is already the fourth.
Thobbe manages to throw all kinds of metal styles together and produces a record that is put together quite well. The intro 'Thou Ancient, Thou Free' is full of fake violins but after that some fine metal tracks pass by. Unfortunately Thobbe is not the best singer. Maybe he can hire someone next time for that. In the Sabaton-like 'Illuminati' this is not so noticeable, but in other songs it becomes quite obvious. Especially 'The Land Where You Belong' really deserved a better singer. During the Malmsteen cover 'I Am A Viking' Joakim Broden (Sabaton) and Patrik J. Selleby (Bloodbound) jointly take care of the vocals and this is one of the better songs on the record. Thobbe is a really skilled guitar player. That was already clear in Sabaton, but on his own material he can and does really showcase this. Listen for instance to the fast instrumental 'Odins Hall'.
Ultimately, the conclusion is that it is an album with different sides to it that are not all equally well executed. Musically fine, although the aforementioned intro and the strange 'Heart Of Metal' are really out of tune with the rest. Remains eight tracks of which one cover and one previously released song ('Fingerspitzengefuhl'). However, these are all well produced, which makes it a positive score. But next time, please hire a real singer.