July 3, 2017

Walpyrgus - Walpyrgus Nights

By Karen A. Mann. North Carolina’s Walpyrgus play classic heavy metal that recalls the period in time when British Steel and Number of the Beast ruled MTV, and a bevvy of European and American bands popped up with variations of that raw, aggressive sound.
By Karen A. Mann.

Artwork by Gustavo Sazes.

North Carolina’s Walpyrgus play classic heavy metal that recalls the period in time when British Steel and Number of the Beast ruled MTV, and a bevvy of European and American bands popped up with variations of that raw, aggressive sound. The band’s reverence for the era of Denim and Leather is obvious from the outset: Think screaming dual leads, ripping melodies, and singer Johnny Aune’s powerful voice wailing creepy odes about dead girls, ghosts, witches and woe.

Formed in 2012 by veterans of long-running regional acts Twisted Tower Dire, October 31, Daylight Dies, Heaven Wept and Viper, Walpyrgus has teased listeners with several singles and two live albums. And just in case you doubted where their musical interests lie, two of those singles were faithful covers of Riot’s “Outlaw” and Mercyful Fate’s “Doomed by the Living Dead.” Now the band offers the most complete illustration (literally and figuratively) of their full metal power on Walpyrgus Nights, their first full-length.

Photos by Karen

Ripping through eight songs (including a cover of Witch Cross’ “Light of a Torch”), Walpyrgus Nights weaves a spooky, Lovecraftian tale that’s macabre, but in an almost light-hearted way. Aune’s voice is passionate and emotive, even when the lyrics turn a little campy. A sample:

Dead of night, come to life. You’re the Queen, got no equal.
But you’re cold, and you’re dark and you’re evil

Adding to the fun factor: Vinyl versions of Walpyrgus Nights includes a 56-page comic book that illustrates the stories behind the songs with drawings of sexy witches, clawing goblins, foreboding palm readers and dire warnings.

While the majority of the album is straightforward, meat-and-potatoes classic metal, the band veers into pop-punk territory on the first single, “Dead Girls,” a fun, furious four-chord ripper that features chanted backup lyrics and even an organ solo. It’s a standout song on an album that marks Walpyrgus’ as one of the best bands in the New Wave of American Traditional Metal scene.

Tagged with 2017, heavy metal, Karen A. Mann, Walpyrgus
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