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Awesome heavy horror! - 95%

Akerthorpe, March 8th, 2018

North Carolina’s Walpyrgus are on the attack with their debut full-length album entitled “Walpyrgus Nights”, and one thing is for certain. This band is set to horrify and glorify everything that is the pure essence of what it means to be true heavy metal. This is an album that can stand up against most anything on the market today, and a good deal of what has been released throughout the years. Traditional classic old school, power influenced metal riffage, totally in the vein of Kinnetic Dissent, Crimson Glory, Hammerfall, and Helloween. This release is worth the price on the guitar work alone! Top notch guitar talent from these guys. As with the riffs, the drums are totally rooted in tradition with absolutely no variation, and to be honest, you really don’t want any here. The drumming here is a total respect and honor giving performance of pure, hard hitting heavy metal the way it should be played as laid out by the masters before.

The bass is given just enough room to make its presence felt. The tone and mix accompany the riffs quite well. Not quite at the level of Manowar or Iron Maiden, but the mix seems to be on point here with the bass, and the level should be sufficient enough for those picky enough to critique every aspect of the music, such as myself. The vocals are the cherry on top for this release. They seem to be heavily influenced by Hammerfall and Fates Warning for the most part. This pattern makes everything come together to form this massively fabulous piece of art.This is a perfectly enjoyable album from beginning to end. All fans of the heavy and power metal genres should check this out. Keep your eyes on this band. Good things are in their future for sure! This was released by the Cruz del Sur label who did an excellent job on every aspect in getting this album released.

Through the Graves Again - 82%

Twisted_Psychology, November 6th, 2017

While Walpyrgus of Raleigh, North Carolina is instantly identifiable as a heavy/power metal band, their sound is a lot more polished compared to most of their peers. The production has a bright sheen that threatens to take the edge off the guitars and diminish any signs of darkness, the song hooks and tempos are almost too upbeat, and vocalist Jonny Aune has a nasally tenor that could almost fit in with a pop punk group. That description may have been an instant turn off for some but Walpyrgus Nights does prove to be a pretty solid album.

Much of that likeability can be traced to that upbeat songwriting. The bouncy hooks in combination with the bright tone is rather jarring at first, especially since the music is still heavy enough to qualify as metal, but it does prove to be pretty accessible once you get settled in. It also helps that the musicianship is tight and the vocal delivery on songs like “Dead Girls” has a certain cheekiness that brings to mind Volbeat or Michale Graves-era Misfits.

Fortunately there are a couple songs where the listener can get a breather without worrying about the band going too soft. “She Lives” in particular is a pretty enjoyable tune as its energy is made less abrasive by the prominent keyboard work. The cover of the underrated Witch Cross’s “Light of a Torch” also stands out as the album’s most “typical” metal song though it ironically isn’t quite as strong as the other tracks on here. Fortunately, the title track ends the album on its slowest and most menacing note.

I may still be a little weirded out by Walpyrgus’s ultra-clean way of playing traditional metal, but I really have to give the band props for executing their unorthodox approach in such a steady fashion. Their energy is surprisingly infectious and the songwriting is accessible without feeling too disposable. Classic metal fans should be able to get a feel for it but I’d be curious to see how someone of a more alternative/punk phase would take to this album. I suppose it’s one excuse to get in touch with that cute emo girl you dated back in high school, eh?

Highlights:
“Dead Girls”
“She Lives”
“Walpyrgus Nights”

Originally published at http://psychicshorts.blogspot.com

High-octane, horror-drenched heavy metal fun. - 89%

Empyreal, June 6th, 2017

Some of my earliest heavy metal memories involve early 2000s-era heavy metal bands Twisted Tower Dire and While Heaven Wept – two American bands who were putting out some cool, unique stuff back in a time when the retro movement wasn't really the same boom as it is today. I was enamored with both and had a lot of fun listening to them in my younger years. Well, now Tom Philips from While Heaven Wept has teamed up with the current Twisted Tower incarnation to form a new act called Walpyrgus, and I think it's pretty fucking awesome.

This is just careening, upbeat metal in the mold of old Iron Maiden with a dash of Mercyful Fate in the guitars and a lot of punk and hard rock influence creeping in that I actually think adds a lot of verve and personality to the sound, making it more colorful and fun than it would've been. This is just hyper-energized music played with a lot of gusto. The guitars are always doing something on here, ripping out winding leads and crunchy, volleying riff sets, and the vocals of Johnny Aune are a stellar high wail with a lot of grit to it – very cool. The drums are loud and pounding, the keys are sufficiently melodious... it's all vying for your attention in a very good way.

The opener here, “The Dead Of Night,” is a solid track with a cool, dark riff and memorable vocal lines, but they really kick into gear with the diving, acrobatic guitar frenzy of “Somewhere Under Summerwind,” the hyper-catchy “Dead Girls,” with the most memorable chorus of the year thus far, and the late-80s-Maiden stylings of “Lauralone” and “Palmystry,” which have enough cool riffs, leads and hooks to fill a whole damn album.

If the rest of the songs after that aren't quite up to scratch with that amazing run of songs, eh, I will take them anyway – they're still fairly solid. I think Walpyrgus on here have crafted a very cool slice of heavy metal. I dig the infectious energy on here, and the Halloweenish, campy atmosphere a la a lot of early 80s metal. I like the spices of other types of rock here and there – I've never been one to think that's a bad thing, and it adds a certain spontaneity that a lot of the best bands back then had, unlike those who simply adhere to nothing but one tradition. It makes it exciting.

If this sounds up your alley, it probably is – Walpyrgus are nothing if not straightforward. If you're into cheese-drenched horror-themed classic metal, this is a pretty safe bet and I recommend it.