Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Walpyrgus: Walpyrgus Nights (Cruz del Sur)
Oh man, how much fun is this? Walpyrgus is a new band based (mostly) out of North Carolina that’s made up of members of Twisted Tower Dire, While Heaven Wept, October 31 and Daylight Dies. Specifically, it features vocalist Johnny Aune (Twisted Tower Dire), guitarists Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire) and Charley Shackleford (Daylight Dies), bassist Jim Hunter (Twisted Tower Dire, While Heaven Wept) and drummer Peter Lemieux (ex-Widow). While Heaven Wept mainman Tom Phillips is on keys and handling production.
Walpyrgus’ full-length debut is titled Walpyrgus Nights, and it’s such a fun album. You expect a certain sound with Aune, Waldrop and Hunter on board, so it’s no surprise that this album fits nicely alongside Twisted Tower Dire’s (not so) recent work. It is a bit surprising to see Phillips delivering such catchy orchestration. Where Twisted Tower Dire (and especially While Heaven Wept) tend to be more epic sounding, Walpyrgus injects a more melodic, almost ‘80s hard rock element into their traditional metal sound. It’s ultra-catchy, easy to sing along to, classic heavy metal in the best early Iron Maiden, Tokyo Blade and Riot tradition. There’s also a nod to Danish band Witch Cross here, with their guitarist Mike Koch guesting on a cover of “Light of a Torch.”
Walpyrgus Nights is a relatively short album, with just eight songs and clocking in at 37 minutes, but like the ‘80s albums that inspired it, it’s “all killer, no filler.” I love “Dead Girls,” “Palmystry” and “She Lives” the most, but I can (and have) put this whole album on repeat and found it just as much fun each time around.
This has to be one of the best debuts of 2017, and is one of the best traditional metal albums of the year as well. It’s the kind of album that will put a huge smile on your face if you’re a fan of the more melodic heavy metal bands like Maiden and Riot. And of course fans of Twisted Tower Dire, Widow, Enforcer, Cauldron and Striker ought to absolutely love Walpyrgus Nights.
Summary: Yeah, this hits the spot.