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Visigoth - "The Revenant King" (CD)

Visigoth - "The Revenant King" CD cover image

"The Revenant King" track listing:

1. The Revenant King
2. Dungeon Master
3. Mammoth Rider
4. Blood Sacrifice
5. Iron Brotherhood
6. Necropolis (Manilla Road cover)
7. Vengeance
8.Creature of Desire
9. From the Arcane Mists of Prophecy

Reviewed by on January 29, 2015

"All the songs are sprawling tales of sword and shield, fantastic stories that would make R.E. Howard proud."

Visigoth is a band that is true to its name. The Salt Lake City group took its name from the tribe of Germanic barbarians that sacked Rome in 410 AD leading to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Visigoth plays epic power metal/heavy metal odes to barbarian warriors and the cover art for “The Revenant King” depicts a glorious battle scene of the Revenant King returning to claim his rightful throne.

“The Revenant King” is the band’s first full-length recording and what an impression the band made right out of the gates! The album follows old school rhythms but with a modern production. The mid-paces and gallops bring to mind Manowar, but unlike Manowar there are no songs about how metal the band is. All the songs are sprawling tales of sword and shield, fantastic stories that would make R.E. Howard proud. Jake Rogers sings with power and conviction in a range without losing the strength of his voice through singing at too high of a pitch. The title track and cover of Manilla Road’s “Necropolis” show Rogers at his best, as these are excellent songs to sing along with.

“Dungeon Master” is another fun song to sing to. This track works so well in its dynamics, from NWOBHM guitars to rolling cymbal break down. “Creature of Desire” is another track NWOBHM fans should check out. “Mammoth Rider” has a good mix of sounds, with each riff seemingly better than the one before it. There are two gallops, one fast and one slow, that set the intense pace on this track. There is even a doomy section around the 5:30 mark. “From the Arcane Mists of Prophecy” is another track that contains a doom section, and this is the longest song on the album, clocking in at nearly 10 minutes and containing the album’s darkest ambiance. Eerie violin strings come into the fold around the 3:20 mark. The guitar solos are superb on this track, too.

“Iron Brotherhood” contains a huge chorus line. It’s lines “Raise your first besides your brothers” should elicit a sea of fists in unison at live shows. While every song contains strong sing-along vocals, some tracks stand above others. The band’s rendition of Manilla Road’s “Necropolis” is done to perfection. Visigoth does this song justice, especially in the vocal department. The guitar is much louder than the original and the chorus line is fuller. As great as Manilla Road is, Visigoth created a better version than the original.

“The Revenant King” is a satisfying album on so many fronts. The vocals are strong and catchy. The guitar is memorable and there is an epic quality that persists throughout the album. The song writing is excellent, through and through. Fans of Manilla Road and Manowar take note.

Highs: Heroic power metal vocals without being annoyingly high pitch.

Lows: The album could use more guitar gallops.

Bottom line: An early contender for power metal album of the year.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)