Thu 30th August 2007
Heavy metal, don't you just love it? Harmonised guitar riffs, built on a solid rhythm section, garnished with powerful vocals. Music that is simple and infectious, and reminds you that great music is timeless, and can take you back to those days when you first discovered your love of distorted guitars and young men screeching about killing dragons and what not. Well, that's what we have on display here, on the debut album from The Freezing Fog, a nod to the greats like Black Sabbath, but with one eye on the present with the more technical and introspective passages.
'Chimeric Visions' is first out of the blocks, and you immediately notice that you're tapping your feet, and resisting the urge to pump your fist in the air. 'Crossing The Rubicon' follows with a traditional galloping rhythm and a great chorus, with a one of those simple refrains that you'll find yourself singing at a later moment, as it sticks in the brain. An honourable mention must go to 'Beast Of England' for having a tight jeans and white trainers chugathon section, before giving way to an almighty grooving verse, which is then discarded for a 5 minute doom workout to end the song. Fabulous stuff!
'No Light, No Smoke' boasts one of the cheesiest riffs I've ever heard, and it's great, I can imagine it's a real treat when you see them live. 'The Blacksmith's Lament' boasts dueling guitar harmonies that remind you of classic Thin Lizzy, and it's topped off with a great laid-back middle section. The album is book-ended with the title track 'March Forth To Victory', which is an epic number full of brooding riffs, and features a good call and response passage between singer James Longsden, and guitarist Ed Godby on backing vocals.
Thankfully, the band do remarkable justice to the genres of Classic Rock and Heavy Metal, as there's no whiff of sub-standard 6th form-esque Iron Maiden aping going on here. This album is packed full of groove and great hooks, nothing too fancy or technical mind you, and it comes with a powerful punch, courtesy of a solid production job from Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. If you're into pigeon-holing, then I'd compare these guys to The Sword, but with more emphasis on groove and melodies.
Overall, this is a fantastic album, that really does capture the spirit of past legends, but with feet kept firmly in the present.