|Review: Vigilance - Queen of the Midnight Fire|
|Queen of the Midnight Fire|
Label: Metal Tank Records
Year released: 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: October 26, 2019
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
for:Queen of the Midnight Fire
Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)
There are several bands called Vigilance, and this is the one from Slovenia, of all places. These days, they're known for playing a sort of Blackened Heavy Metal, but they started out as a good ol' fashioned Traditional Metal band with the occasional nod to Black Metal via harsh vocals and some harsher passages. I first looked into their later works and was left underwhelmed, thinking that they would work better if they had more traditional vocals and a more old-school riff style. After listening to their debut Queen of the Midnight Fire, I learned I was right.
One look at the album cover will make you think this is an album of rocking Heavy Metal with an occult streak running through it, and you'd be spot on with that assumption. As I said, they do throw in some harsh vocals in a few places, but while they're well done and don't detract from the songs, they happen so infrequently I wonder why they even bothered. Thankfully, the main attraction is Jakob Rejec's first-rate guitar work, which consists of flailing riffs, killer solos, and searing, sometimes beautiful leads that basically sounds like the result of Mercyful Fate sacrificing Iron Maiden to the devil. He also handles vocals for the band, and on this album he has a strong tenor that occasionally gives way to a mighty wail and only adds to the mystical underground atmosphere that permeates throughout. He's good enough that I find it a damn shame he ditched them for the harsh vocals, which don't have anywhere near the same amount of character to them.
This band would change gears towards a dirtier Blackened sound on their follow-up Hounds of Megiddo, which is fine on its own, but pales in comparison to this album. While there's nothing on here I would call classic, this is an underground gem that anyone with an interest in the darker side of '80s Traditional Metal will want to dig up.
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