Review: Visigoth – The Revenant King

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I’m not exempt from favoritism. I’ll admit that. Local bias set the bar for Visigoth’s full length debut unreasonably high. I was all ready to proclaim The Revenant King one of the best albums of the year thus far and a worthy addition to the U.S. heavy/power metal resurgence. Those were my expectations, and The Revenant King tore through them like a battering ram through budget-ass toilet paper. It knocked me on my ass, held a sword to my throat and said, “Your expectations weren’t high enough. Die for your doubt.” With this I vowed to comply directly subsequent to finishing this review. Nice knowing you all.

Perhaps more than anything else, The Revenant King is a young band’s profession of immortal love for the many sundry realms of traditional metal, glorifying classic Manilla Road and Brocas Helm, early U.S. “power” metal, and epic doom with enough gusto to light fires in jaded hearts. It’s balls-to-and-then-clear-through-the-walls heavy metal; earnest music written and played with intensity and enthusiasm. It’s the kind of music that’ll pry your curmudgeonly folded arms apart and force your fists into the air.

And it won’t take long, either. The title track’s opening strains stand tall beside Grand Magus’ most fist-pumping openers, and it should only take around seven seconds for your slight nod of metal approval to become a glorious whirlwind of mane and majesty. The lively, time-tested drives of  “Dungeon Master” and “Creature of Desire” will have you pulling your patched-up battle vest out of retirement and committing your wimpy collared shirts and – god forbid – sweaters to the flame (you know who you are). They’re so catchy it’s downright wrong, and the guys really have the gift of the riff – burning through passage after passage of rousing, high-energy tunes. I should add that they’re capable of some impressive string sorcery when the noble solo beckons.

Some might argue – and some have argued – that traditional heavy metal only translates with quick, explosive songs like those mentioned above. To them I offer a mighty boot to the ass and a number of albums by DoomSword and Argus. Much of the album moves forward with a similarly ponderous step and temperament. The entirety of “The Revenant King” is a good reference point, though most of the songs tend to give way to slower passages of their own. Drawn-out and doomed, these sections provide a nice change of pace amid the more spirited songs. Album closer “From the Arcane Mists of Prophecy” – a sprawling Atlantean Kodex-style epic – brings the curtain down with dramatic power.

As solid as the music is, Visigoth seals the deal with its commanding voice. Jake Rogers steels his bent for crafting irresistible verses and choruses with a booming, robust bellow. He reminds of me Piet Sielck (Iron Savior/one of my favorite singers) in his treatment of both clear, soaring vocals and the occasional gravel-churning grit. “Mammoth Rider” and “Blood Sacrifice” are merciless foot-stompers with some of the most contagious vocal delivery I’ve ever heard. During one especially doomy section near the end of the former, Rogers and the band channel Candlemass so well that you can practically smell the inside of  Messiah Marcolin’s probably-unwashed robes. This is a compliment. For the proud, true, and saturated with baby oil, “Iron Brotherhood” provides a metal-for-the-sake-of-metal anthem straight out of Manowar’s golden, one-page (front and back) playbook.

I’ll acknowledge that The Revenant King runs a bit long at just over an hour. It’s risky business to release such a dense debut, but Visigoth have the tunes to back it up. I’d understand mild complaints of fatigue nearing the end, but I’m not of the same mind. I’m not willing to part with a single song; not even the weirdly-placed cover of Manilla Road’s classic “Necropolis” (which they knocked out of the park, by the way). Listening to The Revenant King all the way through might be a commitment, but it’s a commitment that pays off. Get this album. Allow your expectations to be slain with steel.

_____________

I met vocalist Jake Rogers, who is too nice for his own good, before Visigoth’s set opening for Night Demon and Skull Fist. I decided to take advantage of his kindness and asked if he’d be willing to answer some questions for us, and he agreed. So, stick around for that.

(Photo VIA)

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  • The God Emperor of Mankind

    Oh yes, may the ragetime begin!

  • VVayne Brady

    Hide your chickens!

  • I’ll get my 20-sided die! And my 10 sided, and my 8 sided…

  • Nordling Writes ov USBM

    #SweaterMaster(Lord)Race

  • I have prepared some of this for all the people I like here. You’re the first because this record rulz:

  • Mmmmkay. I like this.

  • I listened to this a couple weeks back and was extremely satisfied. One of the best albums of the year so far for me. There’s an itch which doomy-heavy-power metal can only scratch. ‘Tis one of life’s greatest machinations.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    upper power—a feast—thru the cottages/electronic connections—of refurbished garden grove—-as those who have there own storybook worlds/knowledge of the kings aquaintance—

    are shown the north star—-by bards—-going back at least 20 generations—and are blessed with visigoth–and the approaching thunder from the north

  • VVayne Brady

    Creature of Desire is catchier than it has any right to be.

    • That one line in the chorus, “AND WE’LL NEVER KNEEL AGAIN!” makes cringe, though.

    • Guacamole Jim

      How’s your sweater doing?

      • VVayne Brady

        Unbent. Unbroken.

  • Scrimm

    NOPE

  • Dagon

    I usually hate power metal but I can get behind Visigoth. Because riffs, that’s why.

  • JamesGrimm
  • CyberneticOrganism

    “Okay, the Paladin encounters a Forest Orc carrying 20 gold pieces. He is wearing the Shroud of Ezrenakh and is armed with a Shadow Blade. What is thy command?”

    http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/092/0/3/dungeon_master_by_gezeichnetfischotter-d608eeb.jpg

  • Reposted Avenged Sevenfold Fan

    i love this band they are so fucking awesome!!! <3 i'm there biggest fan! i went to their concert one time and i hugged all of them, got a picture, a signature in my autograph notebook by all of them and the best thing ever…the lead singer kissed me on the cheek 😀 <333

    – Maciel Castellanos, 1 year ago

    • KJM
      • KJU SkráðuVergaskip Egyo í Ras

        Trying to remember what that’s from. PS, wowee she is hot as hell!

        • KJM

          Battlestar Galactica Season 4

          • KJU SkráðuVergaskip Egyo í Ras

            Nyeah, never got into BG past the original one. She is still fine as fuck though!

          • KJM

            Seen the entire series run about 3-4 times. I find the 1978 original unwatchable because I have PTSD flashbacks to 6th grade and I worry about my Maths homework not being done.

          • KJU SkráðuVergaskip Egyo í Ras

            I found out a little while back the guy who played Starbuck is now a woman. And not a pretty one at that. That explains why he never banged all those chicks!

          • KJU SkráðuVergaskip Egyo í Ras
          • KJM

            PTSD from being harassed on the net? That’s a fucking insult to anyone with actual PTSD(myself included).

          • I’m going to step in here and say that is totally possible. Large masses of anonymous people threatening to rape and kill people and harassing their family and friends is something that happens regularly and it’s fucked up.

          • KJM

            It’s a very touchy subject with me. I’ve had people do all those things(yes all of them) to my face. I’ve had to change my home phone number because of death threat phone calls to my home and work. I’ve had complete strangers sucker punch me full on in the face for no reason(and that’s not even the worst of it). Maybe I just have a thicker skin because of all that. Does this person have an official diagnosis? I do.

          • I’m sorry about that dude. I don’t know anything about this person but it seems wholly possible. People are affected in wildly different ways to emotional pain.

          • KJM

            To be fair, when the subject comes up with non-psychiatrists the first thing they tend to say is “Oh, where did you serve?” as if only veterans are capable of suffering traumatic stress.

          • OldMetalHead

            Couldn’t she just get off the internet or delete her Twitter account? She’s afraid to go outside because of internet threats, but she is still on the internet.

          • more beer

            That would be the sensible thing to do. Just common sense but either you have that or you don`t.

          • KJU SkráðuVergaskip Egyo í Ras

            Yep. She actually did call up military offices over it, and promptly got laughed at by the higher ups, and universally cussed out.

          • more beer

            That`s pretty funny since they don`t even take care of their own with PTSD.

          • more beer

            The chicks head would explode if someone actually harassed her in real life. It really is an insult to anyone with real issues.

  • EsusMoose

    Probably will be a contender for album of the year, but there’s gonna be a lot that are like that. Revenant King is a great track to listen to while trudging through the cold desolate lands of the north

    • KJU SkráðuVergaskip Egyo í Ras

      In short, the perfect soundtrack for us in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic trudging across unshoveled sidewalks on the way to the grocery for food and beer.

  • Paris Hilton

    Excellent read! Had the time to read cuz the SJWs have hacked my Playstation and are causing me to update it. All I wanted to do is watch some FUCKING ALIEN CONSPIRACY shows BUUUUTTTT NOOOOOOOO!! The SJWs have foiled me again! *Takes angry banana-rama vape pull*

    • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      history channel did 911—-grey alien disinformation psyop—cattle mutilation metaphor mind war———->rockefeller/u.n/clinton/bushsr/reagan/carter/ford/nixon——>illegal treason channel—

      as world mystical heavy metal brotherhood—-creates world free media “reaction’–to the jfk assassination/pbs/fox war against the u.s—–organically–as threads of the internet–become more powerful than “bombs”

      • Paris Hilton

        Fuck, Third Eagle! The fucking Blue Project Project by the US Army is allowing OUR people to be abducted by aliens in exchange for technology… And its still going on today!

        • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          alien stories–are a way for pro totalitarian forces—to get people used to –being questioned with no rights,being abducted or probed by “superior” powers expecting the govt to be secretive or lie

          they are ways to illegally condition people to be against pro u.s. forces (ie the “the army” or nasa,or cia)but they never talk shit about pro u.n. forces–as being unethical

          treasonous info war that has nothing to do with actual “aliens”—

          all alien info on the msm–is misdirection—to try to brainwash nice pretty girls like maybe you or some of your super hot friends—maybe you could create some kind of army of hot chicks—and

    • KJM

      #NotAllPlayStations

  • KJU SkráðuVergaskip Egyo í Ras

    Listened to this whole CD last week, and it definitely tickled my tenderloins even more than I was expecting!

  • Simon “Djentcrusher” Phoenix

    This album is absolutely mighty. Jake Rogers has some epic vocals.

  • JvRv

    This album is amazing and exists in this world, preorders for the new Kamelot cd starts tomorrow, no school on account of snow…
    Good time to be alive, Toilet friends.

  • john

    Easily my favourite album so far this year. I’ve been stuck in a Grand Magus kinda mood for a while now, so this just complimented it. Fucking mighty.