Walpyrgus - Walpyrgus Nights
Cruz Del Sur Music
Occult Heavy Metal / Hard Rock
8 songs (37'22")
Release year: 2017
Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

To read the lineup of Walpyrgus is to recite the names of who’s who in the North Carolina/Virginia heavy metal scene. Scott Waldrop and Jonny Aune from Twisted Tower Dire, Jim Hunter (While Heaven Wept, Twisted Tower Dire, October 31) and Charley Shackelford (Daylight Dies) – I own at least ten albums total between those bands, and have a ton of respect for each of them. So, in a way, you can call Walpyrgus a superband. Not sure if that is what the main songwriter Scott Waldrop had in mind, to gather big names around him, yet the interview with Tom Phillips (While Heaven Wept) is what made me certain I needed to hear Walpyrgus Nights. First asked to contribute some keyboard lines, Phillips slowly took over the producer’s controls and with time became completely engrained with what became almost a labor of love for all involved in the project.

You listen to the album, and you can almost physically feel the enjoyment Walpyrgus bandmembers had with their final result. That, and the amount of harmonies blended into the songs, as well as impeccably smooth ointment-like instrument playing, is what jumped at me on the first couple of sitdowns with this solid effort of a record. Far from being epic or heroic, like early Twisted Tower Dire material, excepts cuts like Lauralone or She Lives, Walpyrgus Nights is straddling the line between traditional heavy metal and very energetic hard rock, at times even reminding me of Deep Purple, due to Jon Lord-like pronounced keyboard runs (Dead Girls, She Lives). An interesting paradox of Walpyrgus Nights is its bipolar contradiction between the subject matter of ghosts, specters and witches, yet almost cheerful sounding melodies. If there is such a thing as happy psychedelic occult, then Walpyrgus captured that spirit. How else can you explain the ambiguity between the title of Dead Girls and its jovial disposition?

I have to admit I am not a huge Jonny Aune’s fan, still miss Tony Taylor (RIP) on Twisted Tower Dire, but Jonny’s sweet voice, otherwise a miss in Twisted Tower Dire, is extremely well incorporated with Walpyrgus. Vocals on the album is another braid in an already pleasant to hear interweave, with the use of some gang shouts (The Dead of Night, Somewhere under Summerwind), and Jonny can certainly pull an awesome high note (end of Lauralone).

There is an introspective moment or two on Palmystry, with a Southern sounding solo hinting at bluesy rock, and the closing title track eventually takes on a slower Sabbathy feel with shimmering keys, until the final explosive push arrives, yet for most of the album Walpyrgus Nights keeps the tempo up. As well as this is produced, the album does not sound at all as a DIY in some basement, and a more adventurous hard rock station should give this a crack. They will be doing themselves a favor playing some quality material, and also creating fan base for Walpyrgus. I hope the project continues, and the guys have more to say on the subject of otherworldly things. Going into musical realms darker and more somber than Walpyrgus Nights addressed so far will not hurt either.

Killing Songs :
The Dead of Night, Dead Girls, Walpyrgus Nights
Alex quoted 82 / 100
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