Thobbe Englund left Sabaton after releasing with them two excellent albums and now focuses on his solo career. “The Draining of Vergelmer” is his new offering and after some listening sessions, I admit I am not satisfied with what the Swedish guitarist presents. Although the listener can enjoy some great guitar phrases and solos, his/her overall impression is that the compositions are inadequate musical-wise and production-wise. More specifically, the song ideas are poor, their structures are generic and Englund seems lost in the various music styles – the album lacks personality and character. On the production level, it is obvious that there isn’t a certain direction and things could have been done more effectively. So, the best moments of the album are the Yngwie Malmsteen cover (“I am a Viking”) and the instrumental “Odin’s Hall”, which showcases all the Malmsteen influences of Englund. In a nutshell, the Swede creates an album, whose songs cannot grab our attention. His guitar technique is remarkable, but he must also set his own aims as a songwriter. Maybe next time.

♦ 5/10

Dimitris Zacharopoulos