OLD WOLF Faustian Mass
This one came out a couple months ago; however, I fear it might have escaped the gaze of even ardent metalheads still nursing their Christmas/New Year’s Day hangover bangovers. To my ears, this album is one of most exciting new releases of the first quarter of 2018, so I’m doubling back to shine a light on it. The name Old Wolf may not ring a bell, but that’s understandable, as they’ve kept a pretty low profile thus far. Based in Somerset, Kentucky of all places (home state to the mighty Savage Master!), Old Wolf released a superb 3-song demo in late 2015. A year later, the good folks at Divebomb Records did the world a favor by including the entire demo on its Masters of Metal: Vol. 1 compilation CD (which also featured demos from Riot City, Crypt Sermon and Hellrazor). Somehow, Old Wolf was temporarily derailed in 2016 / early 2017 by what they described on their Facebook page as an “agonizingly long hiatus,” but they successfully rallied and regrouped in the first half of last year. At that time, the band recorded their full-length debut album, Faustian Mass, which finally saw the light of day in CD format via Divebomb Records in early January 2018.
Make no bones about it: Old Wolf are waving the flag proudly for classic, old-school heavy metal. They describe their influences as including the whole NWOBHM movement, as well as the usual suspects like Sabbath, Priest and Thin Lizzy. Old Wolf distill these fairly run-of-the-mine ingredients into something special. The twin guitars of Jake Wilson and Jerome Peters are nothing short of spellbinding, showcasing a remarkable sense of melody and exquisite harmony of the Maiden / Thin Lizzy variety. Moreover, Old Wolf are blessed with an outstanding vocalist in the form of Ric Langford, whose mid-range, unpolished voice isn’t really similar to anyone else’s. There’s an emotional quality to the vocals, as Langford strains to reach for those powerful high notes. It works really well. Songwriting is compact and straightforward, with most of the songs hovering around the four-minute mark. A notable exception is the seven-minute closer “Howl,” where Old Wolf indulge an extended instrumental break in the middle section and the Wilson/Peters combo truly shines. Speed mavens be forewarned: Old Wolf do not step on the accelerator. Rather, Faustian Mass is perpetually locked into a comfortable midtempo, riding those timeless riffs as the rhythm section rumbles and lumbers menacingly beneath. There are no gimmicks, fancy tricks or whiz-bang bells and whistles at work here, just a five-piece band rocking out, playing old-fashioned, unpretentious, blue-collar heavy metal from the heart. That’s good enough for me. The material is uniformly strong, but I’m especially partial to “Your Keeper,” which was my favorite song from the demo and unsurprisingly enough is my favorite here as well. That said, new cuts like the superb “Executioner’s Hymn,” “Faustian Mass” and the aforementioned “Howl” absolutely hold up their end of the bargain and earn their keep(er).
If you need a benchmark comparison for Old Wolf, I might say they sound like Argus without the doom elements, or High Spirits without the fast happy parts. The label also says Faustian Mass is recommended for fans of bands like Grand Magus, Eternal Champion, and Visigoth, and I can see that as well, although there are significant differences between Old Wolf and each of those acts. The simplest way to put it is like this: Those who appreciate and enjoy the new wave of traditional heavy metal (and particularly the American variant) really owe it to themselves to check out Faustian Mass. It’s right up your alley. I only have a couple of nits. First, all three demo songs are included on the album, which means both that my ears naturally gravitate to those tracks because I already love them and that there are only five proper new songs (as well as a spoken-word intro and a short instrumental). Second, there are some fairly prominent atmospheric synth parts in a few places. For my personal tastes, the tunes would be stronger and more potent without them, but that’s just my anti-keyboard bias rearing its ugly head. None of that detracts from the main conclusion, which is that Old Wolf kick ass and Faustian Mass is a great example of old-school heavy metal done right. They’re on the prowl, hear them howl!
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
AENIMUS The Final Warning
A blessing and a curse of the musical explosion of recent years is that there are now far more heavy metal albums being released every month than any one person can possibly keep up with. On the one hand, it’s fantastic because the opportunities for discovering killer new bands are virtually limitless. On the other hand, it’s a drag because truly exceptional bands are falling through the cracks, their music simply being drowned out by the endless cacophony of noise without ever reaching the right ears. Like many of you probably, I’ve got a short list of personal favorite newer bands that most people (including many of my most voracious underground metal friends) have never heard. For me, one of the most prominent bands on that list is Aenimus. The unsigned quartet from Skelleftea, Sweden have been a going concern since 2009, but they landed on my radar in a huge way in 2014 when a copy of their debut album, This Illusion, reached my hands. This Illusion bowled me over, capturing my imagination and my heart in a way that precious few albums do these days, and I found myself coming back to it on dozens of occasions in the last few years. I’m incredibly fond of This Illusion to this day.
Much to my excitement, Aenimus released their second full-length album, The Final Warning, a few weeks ago. In response to my breathless inquiries, the band went to the trouble of packing up a copy of the CD, a shirt, and even a couple of used guitar picks for me. They gave me the special pricing deal from their record release show in Sweden because they said they knew I’d have been there in person if I could. That, my friends, is the right way to treat your fans. I’ve now had a couple weeks to live with The Final Warning, and I am very happy to report that it is in every way a strong, worthy successor to This Illusion. I know, most of you never heard This Illusion, so that reassurance doesn’t help much. You want a description? Swedish heavy metal. Aenimus’s sound is built on a sturdy backbone of traditional metal, but there’s nothing retro or contrived about them. I suppose there’s a bit of Swedish power metal (Hammerfall, old Nocturnal Rites, etc.) in their sound too, but it’s not overbearing. The band also tout their thrash influences, which do bubble to the surface from time to time (such as on the frenetic “Battles Turned Bridges Burned”). Aenimus don’t really sound like anybody else. They don’t chase any musical fad or trend. They just play melodic, mostly mid-paced heavy metal from the heart, with well-written anthemic songs, huge hooks, stirring melodies, powerful guitars and the charismatic, heart-on-sleeve vocals of Anders Sevdin to bring it all home. The lyrics fit the emotional quality of the music perfectly, dealing with universal human struggles of damnation and redemption, darkness and dawn, despair and hope, falling and rising, somehow always being relatable without ever being specific. At 11 songs and 55 minutes, The Final Warning is the kind of album that elicits different favorite songs every single time I hear it. “How Proudly We Stand,” “Alone,” “The Cries of Jonathan Briggs” and the aforementioned “Battles Turned Bridges Burned” have already found particular places of favor in my heart, but the writing and performances are consistently outstanding throughout. For the uninitiated who might be curious about Aenimus, my recommendation would be to go to YouTube and pull up the lyric video for the album’s title track, “The Final Warning.” That song exemplifies what Aenimus are all about: great writing, sterling melodies, powerful vocals. In my book, that song is an instant classic, buoyed by the spine-tingling chorus, “As the sun goes down / Inside the very hearts of us / We see the truth / But none of us believe.”
There’s no big marketing machine propelling Aenimus forward. They’re not doing this for fame or glory. The Final Warning is honest, genuine music delivered from the heart. Maybe it will connect with you, maybe it won’t. But it’s authentic, handmade and real. In the liner notes, Aenimus declare with some pride that “the sounds that you hear are the actual sounds of the instruments being used. Nothing else. No triggering. No replacements.” They also thank those who buy the record, candidly observing, “We worked really hard for this to happen.” I can’t speak for anyone else, but from a completely selfish standpoint, I’m so glad they did. Well done, lads, and thank you.
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
MIDNIGHT FORCE Dunsinane
Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, Midnight Force have made tremendous strides in their two years of existence. In late 2016, the fledgling quartet released a well-received EP entitled Restless Blade. Now, barely a year later, Midnight Force return with their full-length debut, Dunsinane, which some will recognize as the infamous site of Macbeth’s defeat and demise in Shakespearean lore. You know, “Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.” The eight-song album reproduces just one track (the excellent “Crystal Talon”) from the EP, as well as both cuts from the “Scarlet Citadel” digital single released last summer. With striking black-and-white detailed (and apparently hand-drawn) cover artwork, a different distinctive symbol depicted in the CD booklet to accompany each song, and a decidedly old-school DIY flair, Midnight Force definitely have captured a certain specific visual aesthetic.
Musically, Midnight Force have often been lumped in with today’s NWOBHM revival, and it isn’t difficult to understand why. Dunsinane owes much to the legendary British musical movement of the early 1980s, from the defiantly old-fashioned riffs of Ansgar Burke to the wailing, straining, heartfelt but acquired-taste vocals of John Gunn to the musty, rickety production values and the naïve, exuberant, urgent songwriting. Songs like the adrenaline-pumping Maiden-style “Killer” and “Down with King” are short, to-the-point NWOBHM style bangers sure to please fans of bands like Amulet or the Dissonance Productions hordes. But this is no cookie-cutter, faceless band. What sets Midnight Force apart from the scads of younger acts trying their hand at this style today is the unmistakable epic metal touch in their compositions. The band cite Manilla Road as one of their primary influences, and that epic feeling shines through on some of the more extended workouts like “Witchfinder” or the aforementioned “Crystal Talon.” Eight-minute closer “Dunsinane” expands further on Midnight Force’s sonic palette, sounding semi-folky and progressive and off-kilter and epic as all hell, not a million miles away from Hallas or Night’s Raft of the World or something, while featuring a terrific flute performance from guest Jenny Tingle. Although I enjoy much of the material, my clear favorite tune is track seven, “Warlord Eternal,” which beautifully marries the NWOBHM and epic metal strands of Midnight Force’s sound while also featuring a magnificent chorus, “I’m a king, I’m a savage, I’m a warlord / I rule with an iron hand.” Simply sublime, especially when the tune kicks into high gear in the final minute or so.
There is no question that Dunsinane is rough around the edges. A polished diamond this is not. But it is exciting to hear a young band taking a time-honored, well-worn sound and making it feel fresh. Midnight Force have taken some chances. They’re not just blindly adhering to the paint-by-numbers Diamond Head / Angel Witch playbook. A band steeped in the genre classics while still retaining a devil-may-care sense of experimentation is the type of band that can move this style of music forward in the 21st century rather than being trapped in the past. For all its work-in-progress qualities, Dunsinane is highly enjoyable, both in its own right and for what it may portend for our beloved music should Midnight Force put all the pieces together and perfect their craft on album #2.
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
Splintered Throne – Redline
When Splintered Throne’s first disc, The Octagon, showed up on my doorstep unannounced, I approached it with some caution. Once I listened to it however, I was floored as it was just that damn good! Now when Jason Moser, guitarist and co-mastermind, asked me if I wanted a copy of their new offering, I was only too eager to say yes. They list their key influences as bands such as Maiden, Priest, Firewind, Anthrax, etc. and there is definitely a lot of that in the mix, but they also kind of have their own style going which makes it sound both familiar and fresh at the same time. I would say this album is a great continuation off of their previous work and if anything, the band is showing a bit more maturity in their song writing and there is some subtle depth to this album that the previous one was lacking. Definitely worth giving some attention to and something that will be part of my personal playlist going forward. Like it’s predecessor this album is worth picking up. That’s all I have time for now, time to drive off into the sunset with Splintered Throne and I will be sure to Enjoy The Ride!
\m/ 9 \m/
HAUNT Luminous Eyes
(Shadow Kingdom 2018)
Trevor William Church is known in certain circles as the singer/guitarist of Rise Above Records recording artist Beastmaker, who play a form of doom/stoner metal that doesn’t really show up on my radar. Somewhere along the way, Church got a hankering to explore more traditional, old-school metal realms. As a vehicle for indulging that impulse without derailing his “day job” band, he formed Haunt, which has recently released its debut EP entitled Luminous Eyes via Shadow Kingdom Records. What makes Luminous Eyes stand out as an initial matter is that Church did almost everything himself. He wrote the songs; performed all vocals, guitars and bass; and even recorded, mixed and mastered the EP. Indeed, the only other musician credited is a drummer named Daniel Wilson.
Leaving aside the novelty aspects of a one-man band, Luminous Eyes deserves your time and attention because it’s really well done. The label has (accurately) likened Haunt’s sound to early Iron Maiden, early Angel Witch, and early Def Leppard. For a more contemporary analogy, Luminous Eyes puts me very much in mind of classic Cauldron (especially on “As Fire Burns” and “Fallen Star”), but also makes me think of High Spirits and even a splash of Night Demon. Church has more than a little of that Jason Decay (Cauldron) timbre in his voice, even down to cadences and melody choices. There’s a raw, unpretentious, relaxed simplicity to the riffs, the guitar melodies, and the songwriting that recalls the Chris Black aesthetic on High Spirits’ recordings. And the prominent buzzsaw bass guitar – essentially operating like a second rhythm guitar – is a hallmark of the Night Demon sonic approach. Now, those are lofty comparisons because those three mentioned bands are aligned at the forefront of the traditional metal revival today. It remains to be seen, of course, whether Haunt belongs in that rarified company because we have only this four-song, 18-minute EP by which to evaluate the band. The true test of greatness is whether it can be cultivated and sustained through the crucible of a full-length recording, and we simply don’t have that from Haunt yet.
That said, Luminous Eyes is a really impressive starting point. It’s one of these rare albums where all of the elements – from the cover art to the production to the arrangements to the performances to the lyrics – are perfectly calibrated to capture the essence of early ‘80s heavy metal. There’s an authenticity, an honesty, a palpable sincerity to what Church has done here, like Luminous Eyes was crafted as a loving homage to the formative metal gods without coming across as a faceless copy. And I find the songs addictive and catchy as all hell, with massive replay value. The end result is that this EP is pretty much mandatory for devotees of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal or its modern-day counterpart in the NWOTHM movement. The exciting news is the revelation that Trevor Church has now assembled a full band, and Haunt will be playing live gigs this spring (including an appearance at the Hell’s Heroes Festival in Houston, Texas in April), with a full-length album to follow at some point. After this fantastic Luminous Eyes appetizer, I can hardly wait for the main course!
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
VOLCANA Goddess of Flame
The name Volcana may not ring a bell with you, but its pedigree likely will. This relatively new band (formed in 2016) features members best known for their work in Vindicator (vocalist/guitarist Vic Stown) and Mantic Ritual (lead guitarist Jeff Potts). Given that lineage, you would be forgiven for assuming that Volcana are some kind of warp-speed neck-snapping thrash band. You would also be way off base, because Volcana really have nothing to do with thrash metal. The label’s description on the CD traycard – “void ripping dust devil metal” – isn’t particularly illuminating either. My best stab at classifying their sound would be to say that Volcana play a muscular brand of doom-infused traditional heavy metal with stoner tendencies. Think of it like mid-period Grand Magus getting into a violent automobile collision with Pepper-fronted Corrosion of Conformity circa Deliverance / Wiseblood, then having Dehumanizer-era Black Sabbath arrive in an ambulance to perform triage.
At first blush, it might seem paradoxical that a couple of die-hard thrash guys are qualified to do an album of groovy, doomy heavy metal. But it’s not as much of a stretch as you might think. For this type of music, just as in thrash, the riffage is king. You either live by the riff or you die by the riff. Fortunately, Stown and Potts are total riff merchant lords. From a guitar-playing standpoint, Goddess of Flame is a joy to listen to, as Stown and Potts dish out one titanic, musclebound riff after another, expertly balancing lumbering heaviness, locked-in groove, deft melody and sparkling harmony in perfect equilibrium. Potts also plays in Gygax, and that band’s unabashed Thin Lizzy worship bleeds into his work in Volcana to some extent, although it’s not nearly as overt here. It also helps, no doubt, that the one-man rhythm section of Glen Monturi (who is credited with both bass and drums) has spent several years in a stoner/doom project called Mountain Kings, in which he plays all instruments, so he is well-versed in the relevant genre conventions. And it’s not all snail’s pace, lugubrious vibes on Goddess of Flame either. Volcana aren’t afraid to slam their foot on the gas pedal at times, like in the burst of speed at the outset of “Drone,” the exhilarating staccato-riffing finish to “We Stand” and the ripping closer “Witch Blade.” These tempo variations are important, not only for the dynamics of the record but also to jolt the listener out of the hypnotic quality that some of the tunes have.
That said, I confess that I was curious to hear how Vic Stown would adapt his vocals to the Volcana aesthetic. Sure enough, the venomous, acrid snarl that is Stown’s calling card in Vindicator is largely absent here, supplanted by a gruff shout that nonetheless manages to be expressive and tuneful. The vocals actually fit the music extremely well. Lyrically too, Stown has cast aside the overtly cynical political commentary of Vindicator in favor of more arcane, obscure themes with a discernable anti-authoritarian bent (see “Drone,” featuring lines like “Forever damned to serve the crown / Another drone to serve”).
There are no weak links, no skippable moments on Goddess of Flame. The 11-track, 45-minute running time consists of eight proper tracks, a killer instrumental (“Smoke and Terrors”) and a mysterious, thematically-linked musical intro and outro (“The Unwelcome” and “Iniquitous Shores,” respectively) that somehow reminded me (in terms of execution at least) of the musical pieces bookending COC’s Blind. The memorability factor is high, and the disc’s highlights include “Scolopendra (Come Forward),” “Merchant Lord,” and the aforementioned “We Stand.” It is easy to imagine Goddess of Flame appealing to a broad range of metalheads, without being pigeonholed into a tiny subsegment of the market. Maybe it’s not so easy to fit them in a tiny stylistic box, but Volcana have released an album that successfully fuses together elements of trad, doom and stoner, with catchy songs, stellar guitarwork, and a cool, rockin’ attitude that makes Goddess of Flame an easy, satisfying listen at any time in any circumstance. Check it out.
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
IGHTSTRYKE Power Shall Prevail
The New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal movement shows no sign of abating, and I couldn’t be happier. This music is so near and dear to my heart, and it never ceases to astonish me how many quality young bands are coming out of the woodwork playing in the style of our early ‘80s heavy metal heroes. By doing so, these newer acts not only honor the legacy of their forebears but they also keep it alive and fresh by offering their own interpretation of this timeless sound. The latest entrant in the NWOTHM sweepstakes to cross my desk is Finland’s Nightstryke. Formed in 2015, the band recorded a four-song demo entitled The First Stryke in 2016, then struck again with their full-length debut, Power Shall Prevail, last fall. Late in 2017, the eagle-eyed talent scouts at Stormspell Records picked up Power Shall Prevail for a limited edition CD release that caught my attention, and now here we are.
Nightstryke will never be accused of being original on this album. A palpable early Iron Maiden influence permeates the recordings (sometimes a touch too close for comfort, to be honest), and I also hear bits that remind me of everything from Kill ‘Em All-era Metallica to Jaguar/Raven to today’s crop of bands like High Spirits, Air Raid, Enforcer, Cauldron and Night Demon. All of that suits me fine because Nightstryke execute their chosen style with a high degree of proficiency and zeal. The band appear equally comfortable playing straightahead bangers (such as “Witches Night,” “Neon Killer” or “Hawk of the Night”) as they do tackling more epic material like “The Story of the Forty Seven Ronin” or the nearly 10-minute closer, “Mist in the Valley,” complete with a patented Steve Harris intro that gives way into a mighty gallop that would make Jon Schaffer proud. That last song is particularly noteworthy as a retelling of the famous Charge of the Light Brigade (immortalized in heavy metal lore via Maiden’s “The Trooper”) from the Crimean War in 1854, where 600 British cavalry charged the Russian artillery in an ill-fated suicide mission. The lyrics are particularly well done on this track, with lines like “They were one with the mist in the valley / Remember their name, honor the light brigade.” Overall, all eight proper songs on Power Shall Prevail (there’s also a short instrumental intro) are enjoyable pieces chock-full of lively guitar melodies, memorable choruses, quick tempos, and the charismatic, clear and slightly strained vocals of Rami Hermunen (who reminds me a bit of Wolf’s Niklas Stalvind). The 41-minute running time passes in the blink of an eye, and the only thing to do when the music stops is to press play and enjoy the ride all over again.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Power Shall Prevail would be enjoyed by all traditional heavy metal fans. Sure, Nightstryke need to work on carving out their own identity in order to stand out in a very crowded marketplace, but they’ve got the talent and the heart to succeed. I see a bright future for Nightstryke because there’s so much potential on display on this debut album. Sadly, that bright future will not include bassist Leevi Lehtinen, whose life was cut way too short in a tragic automobile accident on October 31, 2017. His bandmates were understandably distraught, and Nightstryke went on hiatus for several months thereafter while they decided whether (and if so how) to carry on. Thankfully, the surviving members have elected to move forward with a new bass player. Long may they honor Lehtinen’s memory by playing these great songs and flying the Nightstryke banner.
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
VISIGOTH Conqueror’s Oath
(Metal Blade 2018)
It is not hyperbole to say that Visigoth are one of the most exciting new bands to emerge in the last few years and one of the great shining hopes for handcrafted American metal in the 21st century. Hailing from – of all places – Salt Lake City, Utah, Visigoth captured the minds and hearts of the underground metal hordes with their 2015 debut, The Revenant King. This was hammerforged epic doom-flecked metal of the highest order. With mesmerizing songs, swords-and-sorcery lyrics, and the truly sublime vocals of Jake Rogers, The Revenant King was nothing short of an aural feast for the discerning old-school metalhead, and the marketplace reacted accordingly. The band solidified their reputation with a string of killer live shows, including a U.S. run opening for Night Demon and legendary festival appearances at prestigious events like Frost and Fire, Keep It True and Pounding Metal. Now Visigoth return with the first major release of 2018, in the form of their sophomore album, Conqueror’s Oath, on Metal Blade Records.
After spending considerable time with the album, I can confidently declare Conqueror’s Oath to be a triumph, a bold step forward for the band, and a milestone for the genre. Make no mistake: This is the same Visigoth you fell in love with on The Revenant King. The massive riffs, the dynamic arrangements, the mystical songwriting, and the chest-beating feeling of indomitable power and magick in the night remain fully intact. Rogers sounds better than ever here, and just might have cemented his status as the finest metal singer of his generation. The combination of power, control, range, emotion and charisma that Jake Rogers brings to the table is truly special, and I always get a kick out of his signature “oooh” grunts in just the perfect moments (not a million miles removed from what Tom G. Warrior did on those early Celtic Frost records). Guitarists Leeland Campana and Jamison Palmer have stepped up their game as well, with numerous memorable, magnificent leads and melodies. And production-wise, Conqueror’s Oath packs a real wallop, sounding punchier and yet more organic than the debut.
In many ways, Conqueror’s Oath is a continuation of The Revenant King, and Visigoth proudly proclaim in the press release that they are not endeavoring to reinvent the wheel here. That said, it is important to recognize a key (and potentially controversial) difference between the two records. With Conqueror’s Oath, Visigoth have streamlined their approach, refining their attack to something leaner, meaner and more pointed and concise, distilling their sound to its essence for maximum impact. What does that soggy pile of adjectives mean? Whereas The Revenant King clocked in at 60 minutes with seven songs eclipsing the six-minute mark and two exceeding eight minutes, Conqueror’s Oath is a mere 42 minutes of concentrated thunder and bombast, with a handful of songs shorter than five minutes and none exceeding seven minutes. This development may understandably be met with skepticism by the more-epic-than-thou segment of the band’s fanbase, but take heart, my stout-hearted friends of the iron brotherhood. This album is pure Visigoth through and through, just condensed into a more focused and lethal package. To my mind, the grandiose, epic tunes like “The Conqueror’s Oath” (which is every bit as sweeping and grand as anything on The Revenant King) or “Traitor’s Gate” or the sublime second half of “Warrior Queen” are accentuated, emphasized and strengthened by the presence of offsetting, quick-hitting, ass-kicking shorter cuts like “Outlive Them All” (a heart-pounding scorcher that is already one of my favorite Visigoth songs ever) and “Salt City” (a fun rockin’ homage to Visigoth’s hometown). That sense of dynamics works with devastating effectiveness on Conqueror’s Oath, and prevents the sort of “epic fatigue” that might set in when listening to the debut. To be sure, not everyone will be enamored by this change, but I think Visigoth have executed the modification masterfully, tightening things up while preserving the true essence and heart of the band.
Special mention must be given to the album’s opening track. Anyone who’s caught Visigoth onstage over the last couple of years may remember a song that they introduced as “Vatt’ghern (By Steel and Silver),” which has become a staple of the live set. Now going by the abbreviated moniker “Steel and Silver,” it makes a welcome appearance as Track 1 of Conqueror’s Oath. It rules. A lumbering monster of a song, “Steel and Silver” captures everything I love about Visigoth in six glorious, fist-pumping minutes. It’s well worth it to buy this album just to own a proper studio recording of “Steel and Silver,” a timeless, immortal old-school anthem that gets better and better every time you hear it. Damn thing gives me goosebumps.
My fearless prediction is that Conqueror’s Oath will carry Visigoth to greater international prominence and allow them to take their rightful place at the vanguard of the old-school metal elite. Visigoth is poised for greatness. Recognizing this auspicious moment, the band will strike while the iron is hot by spending three weeks conquering Europe in February and March to promote the record, including high-profile appearances at the Metal Assault Festival, Swordbrothers Festival and Hell Over Hammaburg. I hope and expect that significant U.S. touring will follow. Wield the spear of destiny and ride the mammoth beast of Visigoth to the promised land, won’t you? They are the silver and gold standard of epic metal in 2018, and Conqueror’s Oath sees them prepared to outlast the moon and the sun. Bow your head and kneel. There can be only one. Hail!
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
True Metal Lives
The Voice Of The Underground