Friday Morning Metal – Visions of Atlantis – Armada

Oooh a band with two singers doing epic pirate metal! Bjørn Spotify’s Daylist playlist thing recommended I listen to this song, and I’m glad it did. Visions of Atlantis come from Styria, Austria, and they seem to go through quite a few vocalists. Looks like the steady hand in the band is their drummer. But the current singing combo of Clémentine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli really have some great pipes.

The song has the bombast and big vibes you’d expect from symphonic epic pirate metal. And I gotta imagine the crowd response of ARMADA and RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER is pretty awesome live. The vocals work really well together, both taking turns and harmonizing together.

For the video itself, the pirates are taking on a couple ships from the British Navy, handling them fairly easily. Though I think the drummer gets smacks with a rifle butt at one point. Also They seem to split between the ships prior to a broadside, then do it once again.

It’s great that their guitarist took time out of boarding the enemy ship to pull off a great solo. It’s even better they showed the fighting behind him like they don’t really mind he’s wailing on the guitar. Also the drummer’s hiding out in the captains quarters. Maybe because drums are big and delicate and he didn’t want to get royal navy blood on his kit.

I bet Visions of Atlantis rules to see live, hopefully they tour the US soon. Enjoy some pirate metal!

Friday Morning Metal – Crystal Viper – Fever of the Gods

Woo power metal with a lefthanded guitarist! And a lady bassist who’s also the singer! Crystal Viper’s been shredding out of Poland since 2003, and recently released “The Silver Key.” So we get some more vidyas of shreddy awesome metal!

The video is “Band plays in a foggy old building” style, which works well for how shreddy they are. Marta Gabriel doing the big bass lift on the intro is pretty great, especially given she’s got great pipes. I don’t want to make a Crucial Taunt comparison, but if Wayne’s World got a reboot, this would be the band in it.

The guitar solos are shreddy and fun and on a lefty flying V. I don’t see too many lefty guitarists, so when they show up I gotta give them props, and this guy shreds 110%. Also there’s some synchronized guitaring! Which works well with a lefty/righty combo. They can snarl at each other, metallicly.

In conclusion, Fever of the Gods fuckin shreds and I’m excited to hear more of their music!

Friday Morning Metal – Ensiferum – Winter Storm Vigilantes

Big epic folk metal! Horses flying through the air! Ensiferum’s brand of Finnish folk metal is back at it.

The Winter Storm Wigilantes appear to be knights who ride flying horses and have fire in their heart. And they tear evil apart. Keeping track of a flying horse has to be tough, what if it flies off somewhere when you’re not riding it? Also what happens if the horse poops while flying? The video culminates with an epic battle against a stone giant, with the Wigilantes stabbing it with their +3 to stone monster swords.

All in all it’s a fun song, big and bombastic, with a combo of clean and growly vocals. I don’t know if I necessarily need the growly vocals, but it does help them stand out amongst all the other bombastic swords and wizards type metal bands. There’s also some fun harmonizing that happens, gotta have some three-part harmonies.

Anyway, enjoy the metal! Then go ride your flying horse to wigilantize!

Friday Morning Metal – Witherfall – They Will let You Down

Noodly guitars! Screamy vocals! Sideboob! They Will Let you Down by Witherfall has it all. The band is from LA and made up of guys from bands like Sanctuary and Iced Earth. So that’s probably why when the song started my ears perked up.

Starting with a Whoaaaayeaaaaaaaah scream is a kickass way to open the song, plus the noodly guitar hook. The vocals kind of bounce between like growly falsetto and regular singing, but it fits in pretty well. There’s some math vibes rocky during the instrumental parts, with heavy, slappy bass grooves. And a proper noodle fest of a solo at the 4 minute mark really ties the song together.

I guess the story in the video is about a blonde assassin killing pretty ladies and also a dude in a red coat who looks kinda like Jude Law? It has some solid horror slasher vibes, and tasteful sideboob. Maybe they assassin is the silence that lets them all down? There’s a heavier emphasis on the band performing, which makes sense. These guys are really good at what they’re doing, but also it makes the story part a bit disjoint. Also it looks like sideboob lady is taking a shower in a bathroom at a music venue?

Anyway, enjoy six minutes of shredding!

Friday Morning Metal – Rhapsody of Fire – Vanquished by Shadows

Rhapsody of Fire have a new album out, and Bjørn Spotify wanted me to hear one of the tracks. This Italian symphonic metal band has been around since 1993 under various names, including THUNDERCROSS and Rhapsody. Thundercross is a cool name, I wonder if there’s a cyclocross race using that name now. The album art is pretty legit, with some sort of wizard wanderer guy and his magical falcon. I bet he’s the talk of Baldur’s Gate.

Clocking in at 16 minutes and change, this song actually takes longer than I do to make one of these posts. I didn’t remember them having a growly voice guy in the band, but the first movement (hah) features them heavily. It’s a juxtaposition to hear big bombastic symphonic metal with all them growls, but then the chorus is clean vocals so there’s that.

At around the 5 minute mark there’s a bit of a breakdown/transition that sounds like it’d fit really well in Castlevania or a Final Fantasy boss battle, before turning into plinky plunky grandspas guitars. After a mild rest, it changes gears and kicks into a bit of a slower chug.

The second movement (hah) in the track feels much more symphonic, with the clean vocals forward and heavy emphasis syllaBLES in each LINE. Maybe this is after they vanquished the shadows and are trying to figure out what to do. The solo at the 11 minute mark is triumphant and gives off a mild “Wyld Stallyns saved the day” vibe.

And then there’s some additional noodly goodness including a keyboard solo 13 minutes in. More metal bands need keyboardists. The song hits a bombastic crescendo, full of double kicks and the clean vocalist joining forces with growly guy. Or that was the third movement (hah) based on how it was different enough from the second movement (hah).

The song closes with some plinky plunky grandspas guitars, kind of similar to the break between the first & second movements (hah). Gotta give a lot of bless yous to Giacomo, one of the composers/lyricists. This song is a romp.

Friday Morning Metal – HammerFall – The End Justifies

New HammerFall! Ahead of an album release in August! These delightful Swedes keep cranking out great songs, apparently since 1993. The video is like a studio session turned epic, and though it lacks the Swedish women’s curling team, it’s something for the ages.

The song kicks off with a solid drum solo. Kinda Painkillerly, plenty fast, plenty kicky. Joacim Cans can still belt out huge vocals which rules. You could even say Joacim Cans sing real well. I dig the dueling guitar solos before the breakdown, very noodly, very shreddy. You knew there’d be a solo by any means necessary, and they crushed it.

Them shouting “THE END” after the breakdown tricked me into thinking the song was over. But boom a kickass coda and chorus for a bit! Really set my hearts on fire there.

Friday Morning Metal – Eregion – The Rival Kings

LOOK AT THAT ALBUM COVER! This week we’re grabbing some metal from Turin, Italy. Or Piedmont. I’ll stick with Turin. Then they have this band and a shroud. According to Metal dot IT, “Eregion were born in the spring of 2012 from an idea by Giorgio Colbacchini (rhythm guitars) whose intent was to create a metal cover band.”

I’m not sure if The Rival Kings is a cover, whenever I search I find a band called the Rival Kings who have a song called “Dirt Road Romeo” which does not sound metal at all. However, this song is a great chuggy battle song.

Overall the song’s a solid power metally track. The solo at the halfway point is properly noodly but not getting tooo out there. And transitions into some very growly vocals for a bit there.

The album is called Non Omnis Moriar, which translates to “Not Everything Dies.” Maybe they’re referencing the vampires who don’t die in that Powerwolf song, Vampires Don’t Die. Whoah oh oh oh. And it has an opening track that starts in Latin, so you know they’re going to be big and bombastic.

I wonder if the band name is pronounced “E-region” or “ere-egg-ion.” Pretty sure there was a social platform in the early 2000’s called the E-region, as a competitor to Habbo Hotel. Anyway, these guys are a pretty fun listen, so give it a shot!

Oh and hey here’s a twofer. They have a real-ass music video for Kingdom of Heaven. I think they’re using Elden Ring as a green screen backdrop. And they’re singing about the templars. Who may or may not have left treasure on Oak Island.

Friday Morning Metal – Thy Catafalque – Babylon

I didn’t know there was avant garde metal, but Thy Catafalque claim to be it. Hailing from Mako, Hungary, apparently they started off as black metal sounding then started doing other types of stuff.

This sounds like a pretty straightforward power metal track. According to the Youtube description it’s a cover of a song originally done by the “Hungarian space rock band Omega” so I’m going to have to look for them next. Hungarian space rock sounds awesome.

I listened to a couple other Thy Catafalque songs, and they’re pretty interesting. They seem to bounce around from ambient modern jazzy tracks like A kupolaváros titka to synthwavy to brutal chuggy metal like Szarvas. Very fun stuff, also it’s neat to hear a band stretch out a bit. Or at the very least the stretching feels like it’d fit into different bits of Dream Theatre tracks.

Friday Morning Metal – Powerwolf – 1589

In 1589, said a murderer was lupine! Yet another big old video from our friendly werewolves of Armenia, Powerwolf. I don’t think they really are, but they sang they were so now it’s true.

This song is big and badass and would rule to hear live. There’s driving drums throughout, and the vocals ride above everything. Can’t forget a good guitar solo in there, plus RAD FLAMING PIANO YOU GUYS.

Poor werewolf man in the vidya gets his ass, and probably country music award, lit on fire for being a lupine murderer who may have eaten a baby? Maybe he just wanted some real babyback ribs, or was reading Jonathan Swift and took it too seriously. Also it was a little jarring to have all the cast look period appropriately dirty and dingy, while the (immortal?) dudes in Powerwolf look so clean and crisp. At least muss up your very coiffed hair, rad singer guy!

I wonder if in the live shows they light a piano on fire, because that would be rad as hell. Murder City Devils used to light their organ on fire (like Hammond organ, not… uh… organ) so it seems feasible.

The bombast and piano reminds me of Meatloaf for some reason. And now I want Powerwolf to cover Bat out of Hell. Maybe they could duet Paradise by the Dashboard Light with Unleash the Archers singer. That’d rule. Or that song about doing anything for love, but not that.

Friday Morning Metal – Kryptos – Electrify

Woo Bangalorian 80s throwback metal! Time to get your fingerless gloves and tease your hair out because it’s time for some shredding!

Kryptos has been around since the late 90s, and their brand of metal is straight to the point. Lotta chuggy, good driving drums, and noodly interludes. Electrify is on an album coming out in July, but it sounds equally like a song from 1985 that was left in a time capsule. Maybe they traveled near the speed of light for like 10 years and were plopped in 1998 fully formed. I bet that’s it. Because time traveling sounds radical.

It’s a performance video which is pretty standard fare, but there’s an intro of cajoling one of the band members out of a bar to go perform. The bar gives off a little 5 Point vibe, and one of the show shots had the big pillars on stage that reminds me of El Corazón. And while I assume neither of those are where they shot, it’s neat to see.