RSS Feed

The Revenant King

Metal Blade (2015)
Rating: 8.5/10

With tales of myths, legends and epic battles comes Salt Lake City, Utah residents Visigoth. The Revenant King is the debut outing from this quintet, which formed in 2010 and comprise of Jake Rogers (vocals), Leeland Campana (lead guitar), Jamison Palmer (guitar), Matt Brotherton (bass) and Mikey T. (drums).

It’s extremely rare for a Metal Blade release to disappoint, and with The Revenant King Visigoth conjure up what could best be described as a rewarding and certainly very metal release.

With thick, dense riffs which roll like thunder and commanding vocals which soar across the battlefield like drones of the last warrior standing, Visigoth provides a mythological landscape of steely metal that comes from the depths of the heart and land. With its fantastical cover art this record is a tad predictable in places, but then again it doesn’t try to be anything else other than some rich tapestry of mystical tales built upon the sturdy foundation of gleaming swords, rumbling chords and the devastating percussive rumble of Mickey T., whose rolls and thuds could no doubt be heard from miles away should this battering have been on some tribal skin signalling the beginning – or end – of war.

With the gargantuan title tack beginning the opus, Visigoth sets out its stall and crafts out slab after slab of powerful metal that harkens back to the day of Manilla Road, Manowar and just about every other battle-scarred heavy metal band. With each track being broken down into varying dramatic stages, it’s often about a juddering rhythm section one minute and the next a galloping horse of faster tempos before a coming together of metallic forces.

I’m extremely impressed by the booming tones of Rogers who puts in the sort of performance you would expect from an authoritative band frontrunner. As a leader, he takes his band of merry men through steep valleys, misty gorges, and mountainous regions in search of evil to slay.

The galloping steel of ‘Dungeon Master’ gives way to the pummelling chug of the equally absurd ‘Mammoth Rider’, but for every dramatic image the combo churns up, one feels as if you’re with them creeping through those dungeons and stoking flickering fires to keep the prehistoric beasts away. Call it whatever you want, there’s no denying this is power metal of the highest calibre and which gleams in the night like the finest of magical swords.

For those who recall reading Fighting Fantasy books and indulging in mystical role-playing games, you will find this leviathan of an album as a perfect soundtrack when it comes to engaging with wizards and combating beasts from previously unchartered realms. With each track comes a sense of exploration as ‘Vengeance’ charges upon a deep, rattling bass and dense guitar traipse, while ‘Creature Of Desire’ begins with a burning, nostalgic riffage and wild primal scream before we’re dealt a tale of “leather and spikes” and served up a dish of devilish hooks and Iron Maiden-esque glory.

With traditional heavy metal still being delivered through countless new releases, much of which is mere tepid mimicry, it comes as a pleasant surprise to hear such bombastic anthems and convincing tales of old. While the “mighty tyrants” Rogers sings of on ‘From the Arcane Mists Of Prophecy’ may be on their last legs, Visigoth give us hope of the promised land – a terrain that may just well be inhabited by enough steady heavy metal bands to make us believe again in the genre. Fusing technical ability (but without showiness) and an air of mysticism, The Revenant King is the sort of opus that could well present a band that one day may be in line for the metal throne.

Neil Arnold

<< Back to Album & EP Reviews

Related Posts via Categories