My favorite Blind Guardian album is Nightfall in Middle-Earth. You might have already known this because I never shut up about it. The reason it’s my favorite album is that it sits on the exact middle between their earlier, thrash album and their later, more epic and melodic releases. The combination between power cheese, thrash buzz-saw aggression, and heavy metal epicness merges to create some truly marvelous and fun metal. Pillaging Villagers create much the same formula except they take the dial labelled “folk” and push it all the way up to eleven, and beyond. Where Nightfall might feature a hurdy-gurdy or two, Pillaging Villagers’ upcoming release is like getting slapped in the face or punched in the stomach by a chainmail swaddled, accordion wielding, beer-tankard chugging bard. Alright, enough tomfoolery; listen to the track!
I mean, what’s not to love, right? The way the vocals, the…are those bagpipes? Let’s say bagpipes or accordion or something that sounds like it was ripped right from the hands of a pirate, the fast-pace drums, all come together to create the impression of a rowdy tavern or a ship’s deck. Add in those blazing guitars, solo aplenty, and a slightly abrasive note to the vocals, and you have the resulting and unique mix of thrash, folk, and power. All of this is presented to you on a hot, steaming plate of joviality and belligerent, drunken aggression, making the track incredibly fun and infectious.
The band have offered up “punk Ensiferum” or “thrash Dropkick Murphys” as a comparison point and honestly, it works. If you’re intrigued, and why wouldn’t you be, the self-titled album drops on March 11th and you can pre-order it right here. Yarr, maties! Or something, I don’t know.