Thursday, 21 January 2016

CONAN - Revengeance (Album Review)


Release date: January 29th 2016. Label: Napalm Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Revengeance – Tracklisting

1.Throne of Fire - 04:31
2.Thunderhoof - 09:38
3.Wrath Gauntlet - 08:39
4.Revengeance - 06:10
5.Every Man Is an Enemy - 06:46
6.Earthenguard - 11:44

Band Members:

Jon Davis - guitar / vocals
Rich Lewis - drums
Chris Fielding - bass / vocals

Review:

Conan are back with what must be one of the most anticipated new albums slated for release this year. And without fucking about with long winded intro's let me tell you it's an absolute BEAST of a record.

There have been some changes in the ranks since 2014's bruising "Blood Eagle" which now leaves Jon Davis as the only original member of the band left standing. But this doesn't seemed to have effected Conan one little bit. In fact I would go as far as to say it's improved them. Revengeance is in my mind the best thing they have released to date which when you consider they have a back catalogue of EP's, albums and splits most bands would kill for is no small accomplishment.

So, things have changed within the ranks in the band, so how does this play out (pun intended) on the new record? This is still very much Conan. Everything you already love about them is present and correct. Slow gravity defying riffs, those now distinct armour piercing wails from Jon Davis and of course songs that bring to mind charging into the heart of every battle from Viking folklore.
But there's more.....

With the addition of Chris Fielding, Conan now have a dual vocal attack. The very different tones of both vocalists are used brilliantly and confidently throughout proceedings. Dual vocals seamlessly interlock with each other, and each vocalist takes the lead on a number of occasions and bounce of each other like this is what they've always done. Then there's the tempo changes. Whilst there's still plenty of "low and slow" moments there are also a few much quicker moments, the brilliant album opener "Throne Of Fire" and the title track in particular (which can be viewed here in case you've somehow missed it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT143oJUUKU)

Also the sublime drumming from new drummer Rich Lewis (also of Intensive Square) has to be mentioned. He had pretty big shoes to fill, and fill them he does, in fact he might even need to go up a size. Throughout this record Conan treat us to six more battle anthems all dripping with a new found spite and intent that sees them cement their place at the forefront of the current Doom movement.

To quote The Poetic Edda....

A wayfarer should not walk unarmed,
But have his weapons to hand:
He knows not when he may need a spear,
Or what menace meet on the road.

Now armed with Revengeance Conan find themselves more than equipped for whatever they may meet on the road. Miss this at your peril.

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Mona and Jon at Napalm Records for the promo. Revengeance to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Napalm Records on 29th January 2016.

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