Released: 2017, Cruz del Sur Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Walpyrgus, despite a name that might call black metal to mind, are actually a traditional/power metal band from the USA, and Walpyrgus Nights is their first full-length release.
Right away the sound these guys are going for hits you, and never really wavers. This is an album that sounds like it's trying to combine classic hard rock with power metal: it's got elements of KISS or Scorpions alongside Firewind and Dream Evil, the catchy, almost stadium-rock choruses of the former with the grand vocals and guitar flair of the latter. The problem is it doesn't really push either side to the fullest. It's not as infectiously catchy as KISS or Scorpions, nor does it have the sheer power of Firewind or Dream Evil. So while I give them props for trying something a little different, it doesn't quite work as well as it should. It's heavy metal that's kind of catchy and kind of powerful, but never that much of either.
Some parts of the music also work noticeably better than others. The solo sections, for example, are always a highlight, with some great flashy playing on show. The vocals aren't painfully bad by any stretch, but they're not the best either. Lyrically the album is missing its mark. As times it really sounds like it's trying to emulate the style of tongue-in-cheek horror themes seen in bands like Wolf, Murderdolls or Powerwolf, but it doesn't really mesh so well with the music. "Dead Girls" is a perfect illustration, musically it sounds like it should be a song about rocking out on a Saturday night, all bright and cheerful. But the lyrics are about undead women and dead babies. Lines like "She wandered out and killed that baaaaaabyyyy!" just sound out of place when accompanied by music that would sound more at home on a Motley Crue album.
Still, the album as a whole isn't unpleasant. "She Lives" has a good infectious rhythm at its core and nice use of the keyboards with some varied pacing. The solo work in "Somewhere Under Summerwind" is some of the best on the album, and the title track has a good, steady build as it goes along, with the refrain after "On Walpyrgus Night" getting firmly stuck in my head. If Powerwolf-meets-Scorpions sounds like your thing, you might enjoy this, it's certainly not an inherently bad mixture. But for me, it needs to bring out more of the best of these styles for it to really work and be more memorable.