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Vigilance - Queen Of The Midnight Fire

Queen Of The Midnight Fire
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 16 May 2013, 1:12 PM

Since the early beginning of the new millennium there have been a number of Metal waves with a pure desire to let the good times roll, meaning lift and shatter the chains that have been put on old school Metal music. Even the extreme stuff that found quite a niche in the late 90s, turned its back to look for its roots, to search for the glorious answer. But wait a second, what about NWOBHM and early Speed Metal? Pretty much like the late infestation of the new wave of Thrash Metal bands wishing to become the reincarnation of the old giants, the same was with various of bands around the world, mostly from Sweden, that wished to be the rising stars of tomorrow loyal to vintage times. And now I will turn to the Slovenian VIGILANCE, a band that I had the chance to scout through an earlier demo of theirs called “Steeds Of Time”. Now, nearly two years since that demo, this foursome crew is displaying their old school biddings with a debut full length, “Queen Of The Midnight Fire”, via Metal Tank Records. The future isn’t here it is in the past, stripped away. The past is back, and the wildfire burning of these chaps wants it be unique, dark, obscure and different.

There is more than meets the eye; I will tell you that boys and girls. I will admit that the album’s artwork fooled but haven’t led me astray in a way that I was totally lost. There have been numerous bands reconstructing the likes of the old British Metal scene, some doing quite a great job like ENFORCER or SCREAMER, but there have been also crap lying around as always. In the case of VIGILANCE, they chose to become the provocateur of the old habits and establish a front of their own, still inspired by British Metal but turning into the glooms, darkened and obscure paths of MERCYFUL FATE and the early works and debut of the infamous master of evil, King Diamond. Yes, I can recognize their stuff as first wave Black Metal, and it is quite hooking I might add. Through the morbid songwriting of several of the album’s hits such as “What Lies Beyond…”, “Four Crowns of Hell” and “Ritual of Death”, I found haunting transfigures, enchanting mystic relics from a past that I longer for so much. VIGILANCE wanted to mess around with various complexities, but largely they knew where to tread without sleeping into bleakness. The guitars wailed and screamed as if Michael Denner and Hank Sherman were exchanging archaic combinations of melodies and soloing in another hellish dance while the rhythm guitaring clasped the beating heart of “Fatal Portrait” and “Don’t Break The Oath” with robust and divergent riffery that made me recall classic speed and mid tempo flashes. Same can be acknowledged for the drum and bass works, classic so British, especially the bass work, but also following the Danish ornamentations. As for the vocals, I had to say that I was a bit baffled. For once, this vocalist is a powerful high pitch screamer with a sharp edge, quite a range and wonderful mid low tones, which by the way made “What Lies Beyond…” slightly PINK FLOYDish in nature. This guy can surprise you, but there were tracks like “Behind the Cellar Door”, which he sounded rather ambiguous and almost out of energy to continue. Nonetheless, I was satisfied.

Frankly, I was surprised because this band came up with something that I thought that it would be easy for me to expect. NWOBHM has never sounded more clear and eloquent. Their white rabbit seemed like a future to relate to. “Queen Of The Midnight Fire” can be both a journey through the British Isle, but also paying a visit to past horrors and enticing malicious mischiefs that could be contained by lock and key, yes my friends, hell will break loose. 

4 Star Rating

1. Queen of the Midnight Fire
2. Behind the Cellar Door
3. SpeedWave
4. What Lies Beyond…
5. Night Terrors
6. Four Crowns of Hell
7. Poetry and the Gods
8. Under Sulphurous Skies
9. Ritual of Death
Jakob Rejec – Guitars / Vocals
Gilian Adam – Guitars
Anze Stegel – Bass
Tine Kaluza - Drums
Record Label: Metal Tank Records


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