Thursday, August 07, 2014

Skyconqueror - Under The Pentagram


Dear readers of mine would it be alright if I asked you a question? Do you find yourself having those familiar cravings for old-school heavy metal? We're talking about the kind of old-school metal that draws as much from traditional heavy metal greats (Accept, Dio, Mercyful Fate, Motörhead, Black Sabbath and Helloween) as it does from the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon, etc.). If you answered yes then have I got the band for you! Germany's Skyconqueror, which has been active since early 1997 and has three demos and two albums under their belts, are every bit an old-school metal band (an 80's sounding one in fact!) currently living in our day and age! Their sophomore album, "Under The Pentagram", was recorded over the course of 16 months and it finds Skyconqueror channeling the same dark magic of bands like Coven, Pentagram, Witchfinder General, Black Sabbath, Hellhammer, Venom, Pagan Alter and Merciful Fate while taking aim (musically) at Iron Maiden/Judas Priest-inspired eighties metal. It's true that (at times) lead vocalist Demondawn (aka Daniel Hiller of Antifreeze and formerly of  Knight Errant and Near Dark) and his cohorts in crime (guitarist Hellduke, bassist Mayhem and drummer Messiah Of Evil) get a little ahead of themselves for their own good and get carried away (a couple of cuts here sound remarkably similar and as if they were not fully thought out), but it's plain to see how much these four Münster-based metalheads LOVE what they are doing and are as much fans of all things metal as they are performers! And tipping the scales even further in their favor is the fact that the eleven songs present on their new CD offer up shadows of (early, occult-themed) Running Wild and second-tier acts like Warlord, Omen and Savage Grace (all three of which are personal favorites of the band members). All of which points toward a band that lives and dies for true heavy metal! And for those of us (and yes, I'm including myself in this category friends) that love to listen to and collect all things heavy & hard Skyconqueror's "Under The Pentagram" makes for a welcomed addition!

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