Out of all of the modern US power metal and epic heavy metal groups, no band hit harder and faster than Visigoth. The band’s debut full-length showed a group with masterful songwriting and incredible attention to detail. The only slight shortcoming was the excessive song lengths. With album number two, “Conqueror’s Oath”, Visigoth mitigated this issue for the most part, and returned to deliver yet another great disc of anthems.
While “The Revenant King” kicked off with an immediately epic riff, “Conqueror’s Oath” starts with some simple, yet majestic lead playing in the form of “Steel and Silver”. Though not the speediest song on the record, it is clear why this was the lead tune, as it is an epic sing-along effort. Built upon monolithic riffs, and of course the grandiose vocals of Jake Rogers, this song is truly one for the ages. But much like the band’s first record, they refuse to relent after one song. More energetic rockers come in the form of “Warrior Queen” and “Outlive Them All”. Regardless of tempo, Visigoth succeeds at making empowering music that will make you want to slay all enemies in your path. Songs like “Traitor’s Gate” and “The Conqueror’s Oath” are more similar to the opener, as they take a more methodical approach to invoking majestic metal might.
The sole outlier on this album is “Salt City”, which feels like the band’s tribute to Motorhead. As you might imagine, it’s a faster song that is more playful lyrically and musically than the rest of the album. Even though it is clearly out of place, it acts as a nice break before the final two songs. This track is really the only surprise; much of “Conqueror’s Oath” follows the band’s classic formula. The production is immensely powerful, making each riff hit like a ton of bricks. Solos have unparalleled clarity, and range from intelligently written melodies to all-out shred fests. It would be nice to hear even more emphasis on the lead guitars, but that is mainly because the band’s guitarists are so skillful that 40 minutes of them shredding would be great. As a whole, the songs tend to alternate between quieter sections featuring just clean guitars and vocals, and energetic, charging moments of triumph.
“Conqueror’s Oath” is an obvious winner for anyone who enjoyed the band’s previous work. It’s not clear that it is a superior record from a songwriting standpoint, but it is definitely less bloated and easier to spin again and again. The album features so much of what makes heavy metal great that it’s difficult to imagine anything not enjoying the record!
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“Steel and Silver”
“Outlive Them All”
4.7/5 or 94%.