Published on March 26th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Visigoth: Conqueror’s Oath (Metal Blade)
One of the most promising young traditional heavy metal bands on the planet has just released a serious contender for 2018’s best album. Utah-based Visigoth released their debut EP in 2012 and was quickly signed to the Metal Blade label. Their 2015 full-length debut The Revenant King made a definite impression, but this year’s follow up – Conqueror’s Oath – is a triumph of old school heavy metal.
More or less America’s answer to Grand Magus, Visigoth has a really powerful, really epic “onward to battle” sound that’s part Manilla Road and part Saxon (and all awesome). Their previous album had a dark epic feel, but Conqueror’s Oath gets straight to the point. It has eight fast-paced, highly melodic battle anthems that become instant favorites. It’s Viking metal meets NWOBHM, with relentless riffing pairing perfectly with Jake Rogers’s soaring, evocative vocals. Triumphant anthems like “Steel and Silver,” “Warrior Queen,” “Hammerforged” and “Traitor’s Gate” have you banging your head and reaching for your sword. The straight-up rocker “Salt City” is a nod to “Detroit Rock City,” and is a fun little detour into rock n’ roll territory before getting back to the metal. “The Conqueror’s Oath” closes out the album on a heavier, more epic note reminiscent of The Revenant King. The change of pace, especially after the blistering “Blades in the Night,” should be a momentum-killer, but instead it’s like ending a fierce battle with a somber ode to the fallen.
Conqueror’s Oath demonstrates exactly why Metal Blade took a chance on an American traditional heavy metal band. In a very crowded genre where a lot of albums blend together, Visigoth stands tall and has delivered an album that’s makes an immediate impression and becomes etched into your subconscious. Conqueror’s Oath is on par with the last few Grand Magus albums (which is very high praise), and is an absolute must-have for all fans of old school heavy metal, especially bands like Saxon, Manilla Road, Twisted Tower Dire, Night Demon and Eternal Champion.
Summary: Album of the year?