Wednesday, 31 May 2017

[ALBUM REVIEW] Walpyrgus - Walpyrgus Nights

Genre - Heavy Metal

1. The Dead of Night
2. Somewhere under Summerwind
3. Dead Girls
4. lauralone
5. Palmystery
6. She Lives
7. Light of a Torch
8. Walpyrgus Nights

Walpyrgus' debut EP/demo impressed me quite a bit when it was released three years ago now, their brand of no frills 'in your face' horror themed metal ticked all my boxes, certainly tracks like 'Cold Cold Ground' and 'The Sisters' are pretty much everything I look for in a heavy metal song. Now this seasoned US quintet return on Cruz Del Sur with their debut album entitled Walpyrgus Nights and further continue their foray into tales of the macabre and things that go bump in the night.

So how does it hold up to expectations then? Well 'The Dead of Night' is just about as good an opener as you could hope for on a heavy metal album, solid fist pumping choruses and masquerading guitar harmonies aplenty spurred on with an absolutely kicking rhythm section, it follows on from where the demo left off. Think early Riot more than anything. 'Dead Girls' is similarly another absolutely infectious catchy combo where it's almost impossible not to sing along to. Credit to Jonny Aune, the man done a stellar job on the last Twisted Tower Dire album and slots right in here perfectly too, his voice is perfectly suited to this style of metal. One aspect of the release that I noticed quite a bit was the prominent underlying almost punkish tone to some of the tracks, songs like the aforementioned and 'Palmystery' it begins to seep through in the sheer raw energy emanating from the performance. The John Lord-esque keyboards further help augment the whole eerie b-movie horror vibe the band are aiming for, take 'She Lives' for example, one of the slower tracks here but no less impressive.

I still have one or two bones to pick here and there though with Walpyrgus Nights, the promo track they used to promote the album, 'Somewhere Under Summerwind' is probably in my opinion the weakest track here, there's just something about it which doesn't click for me, it's just not as memorable or powerful as any of the other tracks. The Witchcross cover as well while well performed just feels out of place to be honest and tacked in as filler, even one of the songs off the debut rerecorded would have been a better option than sticking an out of place cover on the album just before the last track, it kind of upsets the flow of things more than anything to be honest. And the production, it's just far too polished, as powerful and energetic as the album is, I feel the pristine production blunts the impact a bit too much at times, for album focusing around ghosts, ghouls and all things morbid I'd prefer a bit more aggression and grit in the production.

Still, regardless those are only really minor discrepancies, for Walpyrgus Nights is a more than solid debut offering, for if to the point, sing along choruses and cascading, gyrating guitar leads and a sturdy hard-rock backbone without an ounce pretence is your cup of tea then then look no further. It's simple and inoffensive, but at the same time oh so effective, yet I still think a band of this pedigree have even better and a lot more to come in the future. Fans of Twisted Tower Dire, Visigoth and the ilk could certainly do worse than give it a go. 


For Fans of - Twisted Tower Dire, Visigoth, Riot 

Originally written for The Metal Observer.

No comments:

Post a Comment