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The Lord Weird Slough Feg - Twilight Of The Idols (Reissue)

The Lord Weird Slough Feg
Twilight Of The Idols (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 21 March 2013, 4:12 PM

Back to the days of the Lord Weird, the wayward mind of Mike Scalzi, Bay Area Heavy Metal, into the vast lands of the Slough Feg I ride with pride. Thanks to Metal Blade Records for signing one of the most impressive bands that has been refining NWOBHM along with the artistic and well reserved Celtic heritage, which more or less the band's name is based upon, three of the band's earlier albums, not including the self-titled debut, were reissued possibly serving as a gigantic promo for the band's upcoming album yet to be revealed. Journeying backwards to the band's earlier days, I will start with the second album, "Twilight Of The Idols", initially issued by Dragonheart Records, where the once called THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG, shortened to SLOUGH FEG after 2005, saturated vintage 70s proto Metal and traditional haziness, alongside the harmonic tendencies of NWOBHM along with old Celtic folktales, at least this time around.

Though my knowledge of ancient Celtic legends is probably not as I would have wished for it to be, as I always seek out to know more, I believe that "Twilight Of The Idols" taught me a thing or two about happenings that I have never heard about. In a way, this album was a sort of a puzzle for me, not for it being a hard listener, but due to fact that both lyrics and melodic music were quite inspiring. I consider Mike Scalzi, the band's fearless leader, though not being the classic NWOBHM vocalist or any of the traditional type of old American Metal, as a mere preacher or a storyteller. The lyrics were well written, assumingly based on old texts and scripts but I conjured that Scalzi's imagination also took effect upon the written lyrical pieces. Musically, the compositions and arrangements, as evident from the band's current releases, corresponded magnificently with the themes and lyrics. I adore the band's approach, taking notes and hints from the belly of the beast of early IRON MAIDEN along with its craftiness (The rhythm section of Greg Haa & Scott Beach frickin' rocked with it tightness and talent), the conventional gloominess, yet with epic proportions, of 70s BLACK SABBATH, MANILLA ROAD, WITCHFINDER GENERAL and BROCAS HELM but also that little 70s spike of oozed up Hard Rock menacing of THIN LIZZY and BUDGIE. Probably one the greatest aspects of the music are the classic type harmonies, impressive lead guitar licks and soloing high on top traditional rhythm guitar riffing that was also rather pleasing, easy to produce and pretty catchy to comprehend.

Unlike MAIDEN, which were a bit more constructive and complex, THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG made a bit easier for listener to capture everything all at once. However, THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG didn't create that of memorable songs even with their simplicity, yet it was easy for me to enjoy their Metal perception. It was a bit rough for me to select any track that stood out of the tracklist, but I can safely say that nearly the entire song list shares those same qualities that I mentioned earlier. The two competent instrumentals, "The Pangs of Ulster" and "Warpspasm", punched in the vein of vintage Metal, crossing swords with instrumental classics such as MAIDEN's "Transylvania", but still not in the same standards and awesomeness.  Furthermore, and that is one of the letdowns of this release, the production. Honestly, I can understand the band's wish to achieve the same type of sound of the early 80s, and they did. Yet the drum and bass sounded too distant, way too raw, especially the drums that resembled the sticks of the late 50s / 60s, without the double bass drum of course. In general, "Twilight Of The Idols", I didn’t expect anything less, an inspiring British Metal oriented release, a true pitchfork. Hail the bagpipes.

4 Star Rating

1. Funeral March
2. Highlander
3. High Season II
4. The Pangs of Ulster (Instrumental)
5. Brave Connor Mac
6. The Wickerman
7. Slough Feg
8. The Great Ice Wars
9. Life in the Dark Age
10. Warpspasm (Instrumental)
11. Bi-Polar Disorder
12. The Wizard's Vengeance (Legend cover)
13. We'll Meet Again
14. Bagpipe Outro
Mike Scalzi – Vocals / Guitars
Greg Haa – Drums / Backing Vocals
Scott Beach – Bass / Bagpipes / Backing Vocals
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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