And soon I shall be off to Chicago for the Legions of Metal Festival (May 18, 19 & 20, 2017). It’s a completely new fest on my radar. Loving a good majority of the bands attached to the “NWOBHM” stigma label, there’s no way I could pass this up. There are stalwart attractions, some I’ve seen several times and some never before for some odd reason. We have the heavy hitting likes of Diamond Head, Armored Saint, Battleaxe, Raven (Pre-Party) and more. But the cementing factor in my attendance was my friends in Lady Beast appearing in the roster. Since discovering that band they have captivated me with their musical offerings. Now years later, having connected through the music, I’m proud to call these talented (younger than me) folks my friends. Thanks to them, (I may have opted out of the event with so very much already overflowing my plate had they not been on stage), I have been introduced to new exciting bands and the festival hasn’t even happened yet! And one of those Legions of Metal Festival mates, Walpyrgus, is issuing their debut full-length, Walpyrgus Nights album on June 9, 2017, via Cruz Del Sur Music.
Walpyrgus, try saying that band name sober…forget drunk! But such as it is…I cued up the album sent over by the promo company. With such a name I literally would have normally passed this by without so much as a second thought. However, remembering seeing the name in the Legions of Metal poster, I thought, maybe, just maybe I should give it a go. Thank Christ I did!
Walpyrgus Nights blasts out of the gates with “The Dead of Night”. As I said, I didn’t know anything about the group. I just happened to hit play, so the track took me by surprise. Loaded with melody, the vocal chorus is sure to embed itself in thy subconscious for reappearance at random times over the days to come. From there we head to “Somewhere Under Summerwind”. A track featuring a little more of a rampaging punch to it, yet remaining true in the melody department. As we flow through the eight tracks contained on this effort, all play well right through to a ripping version of Witch Cross‘ “Light of a Torch”. The title track is a serious affair to shut things down with it’s plodding overall sense of impending doom. Check out the video below of “Dead Girls” for an excellent window into Walpyrgus.
Some Walpyrgus History
According to the press release bio, Walpyrgus is a conglomerate of veteran Heavy Metal musicians formed in 2012. Wonder why they didn’t attach the “Super Group” label to it? The band showcases founding members, guitarist Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire), vocalist Jonny Aune (Twisted Tower Dire, Viper), bassist Jim Hunter (While Heaven Wept, Twisted Tower Dire, October 31), guitarist Charley Shackelford (Daylight Dies). Joining those forefathers we find drummer Carlos Denogean (Salvacion) and keyboardist Tom Phillips (While Heaven Wept). Drums on the Walpyrgus Nights album are supplied by original skin basher Peter Lemieux, who departed shortly after recording.
Prior to Walpyrgus Nights, they have issued several singles, two live albums, and a demo. Showcasing album artwork for the debut full-length by Gustavo Sazes (Morbid Angel, Arch Enemy, Firewind), the mixing performed by Kevin “131” Gutierrez (Raven, Deceased, Believer) and mastering by Bill Wolf (Raven, While Heaven Wept). Coming together with a 56-page comic book, including lyrics, the Walpyrgus Nights release will be available on June 9, 2017, from Cruz Del Sur Music.
Join me, The Meister, at Chicago’s Legions of Metal Festival….front row for Walpyrgus….we can consume several beers and practice saying the name during set changes.