Walpyrgus - Walpyrgus Nights

Walpyrgus Walpyrgus Nights cover
Walpyrgus Nights
Cruz Del Sur
Well, this US five piece is, if nothing else, doing a nice job in delivering somewhat unpredictable, melodic power metal. Made up of members of Twisted Tower Dire and While Heaven Wept – who seem to be on ice currently, Walpyrgus (seriously with that spelling?) offer us “Walpyrgus Nights” (no mystery here)… an album that’s quite reminiscent of a mix of obviously Twisted Tower Dire in their latest incarnation, but also often, of a mix of Riot and Iron Maiden, albeit a lot more playful and joyous and not quite as epic.
Right from the opener “Dead of Night” you get the vibe of well done, retro-sounding but well produced metal, with lots of melody, pseudo-occult (a little more “serious” than halloween, probably pseudo literature-based “horror”) lyrics which doesn’t have to rely on “spooky” vocals, but manages to create an eerie atmosphere synergistic-ally.
What its predecessor set out to do, “Somewhere Under Summerwind” perfects with a more tasteful riff, a faster overall pace, lyrics about phantoms and haunted mansions and a paradoxically long, but hard to resist chorus… enchanted… bewitched… I am.
“Dead Girls” probably overdoes “it”, ending up to sound almost like Blink 182 covering Iron Panther (bit of Maiden – bit of Steel Panther – inn it?!)
However, “Lauralone” with it’s very Maidenesque rhythms that tend to meet Mercyful Fate, manages to marry melody & “the beast” very successfully, creating a very cool mix…
“Palmystry” tries to keep the flow and almost succeeds, but placed too close to a superior track; it sort of feels a little samey and lagging and it’s forced dynamics with stops that you wouldn’t necessarily expect, don’t help it much, neither does the wacky albeit cool solo it has.
“She Lives” begins with some very upfront guitar interplay, with the band trying to diversify a bit their tempo and style. While it sounds “interesting” it possibly sounds the coolest during the chorus…
“Light of the Torch” is another song where the band tries to flex its musical muscles a bit differently but despite a nice riff, the rest of the song – including a decent lead – isn’t that interesting and the vocals seem to be to one dimensional, sounding just as they do in the entirety of the album. There’s nothing majorly wrong with it, but if the band could get a bit more adventurous both with the arrangements and the vocals, I think it would be for the better.
Lastly, “Walpyrgus Nights” reserves some neat melodies, but ends up sounding a lot like a slower “Dead of Night” with a few twists and turns and a cool lead. A double edged sword, between “a personal identity/sound” and just repeating a few good ideas over and over…
For a debut, “Walpyrgus Nights” is relatively pleasing and promising and should please both fans of ‘Dire” as well as “Heaven” as well as most classic metal fans that have a bit of an open mind. So that should exclude most “epic” metal fans that need their daily dose of Conan (and I don’t mean o’brien) to feel intrigued about a record.