Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath

Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath

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(CD/LP, Metal Blade, 2018)

There are always things happened in the past that you have regretted doing, no matter how many days, months or years have passed... In my case, I’m referring to the awesome set US Heavy metallers VISIGOTH served at Germany’s ‘Keep It True’ festival a few months back, during which found me at the marketplace searching for some vinyl records to buy and meet-n-greeting old friends, like the EU festivals’ tradition commands. Yeah, little did I know... It’s a price you have to pay, especially in day-long festivals where there are no filler bands, the beer flows from 11am and there is a long evening ahead of you that won’t end till midnight. So, in my case, concerning 2017’s ‘KIT’, VISIGOTH’s set had to be sacrificed, but judging from what the Tauberfrankenhalle looked like right afterwards, I promised myself to check out their upcoming release, once it’d be out. So, here we are, fast forward to January 2018, a few months later, when Metal Blade sent out the Salt Lake City’s Metal representatives’ promo for their latest release, “Conqueror’s Oath”.

Sure, this wasn’t my first encounter with VISIGOTH’s epic-flecked style, as a few weeks back, I had enjoyed the lyric video for the “Warrior Queen” track, and man, I was blown away! And not only due to Jake Rogers’ crystal-clear singing (nice POKOLGÉP t-shirt at ‘KIT’, btw!) that proves he holds some powerful pipes there (occasionally bringing in mind ARGUSwarrior Brian ‘Butch’ Balich), but the entire band’s performance and songwriting are really infectious. The classic, meaty riffage, the confidence and pride in their sound, and in the middle of all this finger-licking Metal tornado, that old-school-sounding voice, sharpened and forged in steel to be AMAP (as Metal as possible) are eminent virtues, present from the very first listening, and meant to last throughout the entire album. Opening track “Steel And Silver” is the palpable proof of what I just described, and if your heart is pounding hard the Metal way, just tell me you didn’t get goosebumps the moment you hear Jake singing for the first time the “like a wolf in the night” chorus lyrics. The twin guitar harmonies, the galloping NWOBHM-infused tempo, the layering, catchy melodies are all there, guarantying from the first second that you’ll enjoy to the max the 42-minute (vinyl-friendly) ride.

There is no doubt that the intro of the lightning-fast “Outlive Them All” will wake up some early MAIDEN memories, and that you’ll find yourselves furiously headbanging during the catchy “Highlander”-themed refrain, and then, I bet you’ll equally enjoy the same-tempo-served “Blades In The Night”, proving once more VISIGOTH’s talent to combine power, epicness, emotion and high-skilled musicianship in one package. But “Conqueror’s Oath” is not all about speed and headbangin’ riffs; personally speaking, its slower and mystical moments touched me the most, like “Traitor’s Gate” with its ATLANTEAN KODEX-esque intro, and of course, the album’s title track; the grandiose of this one showcases a band poised for big things to come, whimsically winking as it approaches the exit-gate, while still wearing VISIGOTH’s influences proudly on its sleeve. I can hear already some saying “pff, one more NWOBHM revival band”, but listening to the entire album again and again, I can safely say that VISIGOTH is more than that; their tight songwriting is the key here, setting the bar high for what’s to follow, while their delivery and performance are equally exceptional, proving these guys’ true love for those two words that make (still) our heart pumping - Heavy Metal.

I could go on and on, analyzing each and every track, but that’s totally unnecessary when music speaks louder than words; VISIGOTH are about to release an album that will stick in many digital (or better vinyl spinning) players out there, and has all the qualities, after 30-40 years, to be labeled as a ‘classic’. I mean, just take a look at the artwork, created by the one and only Kris Verwimp, and try to argue with me...

9/10


Links:

www.MySpace.Com/VisigothOfficial
www.FaceBook.Com/VisigothOfficial
www.Twitter.Com/VisigothSLC


Tracklist:

01. Steel And Silver
02. Warrior Queen
03. Outlive Them All
04. Hammerforged
05. Traitor’s Gate
06. Salt City
07. Blades In The Night
08. The Conqueror’s Oath


Lineup:

Jake Rogers - Vocals
Leeland Campana - Lead Guitar
Jamison Palmer - Guitar
Matt Brotherton - Bass
Mikey T. - Drums