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Walpyrgus: Walpyrgus Nights
Walpyrgus - Walpyrgus Nights CD Album Review

Walpyrgus: Walpyrgus Nights

Traditional Heavy Metal
5.0/5.0

Walpyrgus Night, or Walpurgisnacht in the German, is an event of some contradiction. On one hand, historically, by way of a May Day feast, it celebrates the life of English missionary Saint Walpyrgus, an 8th-century abbess in Francia. Alternatively, in a German tradition, it's the celebration, usually with bonfires, of warlocks and witches in the Spring on Mount Brocken. I think North Carolina band Walpyrgus is going for something of the latter with their debut long player of the same name.

Walpyrgus Band Photo

Walpyrgus

Some five years in the making, Walpyrgus is the collaboration of musicians from some very respected and talented North Carolina metal bands. Band personnel include guitarist and songwriter Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire), vocalist Jonny Aune (Twisted Tower Dire, Viper), bassist Jim Hunter (Twisted Tower Dire, While Heaven Wept), guitarist Charley Shackelford (Daylight Dies), and drummer Peter Lemieux (Viper). After recording the drum tracks for the album, Lemieux left the band to be replaced by Carlos Denogean (Salvacion). The production crew was also an assembly of like-minded friends from the area. Walpyrpus Nights was recorded by While Heaven Wept's Tom Phillips, who also provided keyboards and additional guitar parts, mixed by Kevin Gutierrez (Raven, Deceased, Believer), and mastered by Bill Wolf (Raven, While Heaven Wept).

Plainly speaking, the result of this massive collaboration, Walpyrpus Nights, is a rather impressive platter of American traditional melodic heavy metal. Think the State-side version of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM) with some good old American hard rock groove tossed in. You've got twin guitar harmony and leads, twisted with a rambunctious groove laden rhythm section, a nice touch of keyboards for texture, and Jonny Aune's clean melodic vocals soaring above. Fiery and thrilling guitar solos are abundant across the album.

As for the songs, what caught me ears was the aforementioned thread of hard rock groove. You find it within Palmystry, Lauralone, and the fast paced Dead Girls, which sounds like Waldrop was listening to his Ramones albums before concocting this gem. She Lives brings the groove as well, but listening carefully you'll find that the song's tempo is a juxtaposition of moderation and hustle. For more heavy metal, you get that with the cover of Witch Cross' Light Of The Torch, yet also the twin guitar harmony and speedy pace of Somewhere Under Summerwind. The leads within that song are quite frantic. Alternatively, the title track seems to draw from epic doom metal accents ala Candlemass.

Honestly, it's all good. Walpyrpus' Walpyrpus Nights is dead bang, well-crafted and well-played, American melodic heavy metal. Get it. Easily recommended.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Walpyrpus' Walpyrpus Nights is dead bang, well-crafted and well-played, American melodic heavy metal. Get it. Easily recommended.

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