Vigilance - Steeds Of Time
I came across vigilance on a metal forum I frequent, and they were gracious enough to send me their debut EP, Steeds of Time, for reviewing purposes. The band hails from Slovenia and vend a style of old-fashioned metal that owes it's core to the likes of Iron Maiden, Motorhead and others of their ilk. Ballsy, speedy, with a serious emphasis on melody, Steeds of Time contains five very well put-together tracks that should help make a name for the band.
"Vigilance" symbolizes the first taste of the band one gets and it seems a good place to start considering the title. And the song itself, very straight-forward NWOBHM without any unneccesary frills or filler. Frontman Jakob Rejec is solid on guitar throughout the EP, crafting heady riffs and sleek melodies that easily sink in under the skin. The other vital driving force is drummer Tine Kaluza, whose frantic timekeeping soars on the more speed-metal-influenced tracks. Bassist Anze Stegel is very much in the mix with a workmanlike bit of groove-laying that never gets drowned out in the mix. The overall production value contributes heavily to the feel of nostalgia on Steeds of Time, which sounds like it was recorded in a live setting and not pieced together bit by bit. "Out of the Sun" reminds me heavily of several early Iron Maiden instrumentals, with intense lead sections punctuated by skilled percussion work. "The White Horde" stands out the most for me, wrapping the album up on it's highest note with a fantastic solo section and well-written hooks.
Simple, bare-boned and unashamed of it, Vigilance are another of a procession of bands carrying the original banner of metal's European roots. Steeds of Time is a testament that the best stuff never dies, only rematerializes and reanimates under other musicians' command. If you find yourself longing for the days when metal was about Halford, Dickinson and Lemmy, then this is a record that will take you back to the glory days.
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