Visigoth – “The Revenant King” (Metal Blade Records)
Visigoth hark back to an almost forgotten age in US metal history when proto metal came into being, fused by the fantasy culture and hard rock of the 70s while drawing heavily from 80s NWOBHM. Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road and Twisted Tower Dire immediately spring to mind but equally so do Maiden for the galloping passages and Riot for the epic melodic passion on songs like ‘Iron Brotherhood’, ‘Dungeon Master’ and ‘From The Arcane Mists Of Prophecy. Camp was the image then with frayed denim waistcoats emblazoned in patches and so too was the music, almost experimentally combining styles with reckless abandon that somehow magically worked! Jake Rogers vocals perfectly capture the mood of soulful singing almost bordering on the theatrical evoking memories of 70s Rob Halford and later Bruce Dickinson at his hammiest. Likewise, guitarist Leeland Campana’s axe work harks back to the essence of metal purity, with few effects and relying on simple but catchy riffs that both rock and occasionally turn ultra heavy during the slower, doomier passages. While incorporating trademark heavy metal guitar god soloing, they are equally comfortable on the quieter pieces that provide an enchanting backdrop to Rogers unusual vocals. With catchy singalong choruses and warrior woah wailing background vocals adding the finishing touches, Visigoth go beyond retro to invoke back into life this once mystical style in a powerful tribute with a deep reverence for their roots.