VISIGOTH - Conqueror's Oath
January 19, 2018, a year ago
Sophomore effort from one of North America's premier traditional metal outfits, Salt Lake City's Visigoth. Although true to the ‘80s definition of the word, but since corrupted by flitting, synth laden usurpers, to call this power metal is a disservice. The mid-tempo “Steel And Silver” stands toe-to-toe with Grand Magus (even the title is reminiscent of the Swedes). “Warrior Queen” follows, at an increased pace, but riding an infectious, locked-in riff that bands would kill for, and then there's the twin lead/breaks. Later half offers nearly a cappella vocals from jolly Jake Rogers and beefy backing chorus, before revving back up, to the finish. A little more concise writing this time around, although half the eight compositions still approach, or exceed six minutes.
“Outlive Them All” is the first start-to-finish, double bass drumming driven speedster. More multi-voice backing vocals, in the vein of recent Iced Earth. Acoustic guitar and Rogers kick off rollicking “Hammerforged”, seemingly constructed from the same blacksmith as the aforementioned Swedes. An intro adds to “Traitor's Gate”, this album's lengthiest inclusion, just seconds short of seven minutes. Catchy “Salt City” is over quickly, stylistically alongside former tour mates Holy Grail or a bit of Twisted Tower Dire (circa “Snow Leopard”). “Blades In The Night” is more of the same, which is to say high energy, guitar dominated headbanging. The plodding begun title track is saved for last, built around a mid-tempo stomp.