ALBUM REVIEW: Vexillum – When Good Men Go To War

VEXILLUM’s long awaited album When Good Men Go To War has been out for over a week and understandably it’s been received well by fans and critics alike. This is my first experience of the band and having listened to this, it’s extremely clear why this has been a greatly anticipated record.

The quest begins with the track Enlight The Bivouac. Bagpipes in metal always grabs my attention and the rest of the track didn’t disappoint. Not that the band need me to tell them this of course as this track gets the balance exactly right. It helps the listener feel at ease when setting sail for the latest quest. Throughout the record, you are treated to some truly gallant melodies that make you feel you can conquer what comes your way. As I have said previously, this is my first experience of the band and after this album, not the last either.

Throughout the record, you are treated to some truly gallant melodies that make you feel you can conquer what comes your way. As I have said previously, this is my first experience of the band and after this album, not the last either.

From the galloping beats and the nautical whistle to the majestic sounding chorus that I was singing along to by the second listen, Voluntary Slaves Army is beauty. The melody is majestic and if this was used in a film, this would be the part where the party travel across the land or sea for their adventure. My only criticism of this song is that there are points where the vocal work gets lost within the music, that might be down to production or my experienced ears going deaf. Either way, this didn’t stop me enjoying this song. It’s one of those tracks where you only need to look at the name and it’s in your head for days.

First impressions when hearing Last Bearer’s Song? There are some strong influences from BLIND GUARDIAN, so much so that I had to double check it wasn’t actually Hansi Kürsch singing the vocals. Due to the soaring chorus, I do think this will be in the same legacy as The Bard Song. I can imagine crowds of people singing along to the chorus at a live show once bands can tour again. Having said all this now, I would like to see a duet between Hansi and Dario Vallesi. That would be a wonder.

With a title like Flaming Bagpipes, I am naturally attracted. I was not disappointed. If you’re a huge fan of power and folk metal like I am, you will hugely appreciate the bagpipes being used majestically here. If BLIND GUARDIAN and GRAVE DIGGER were to create a track together, this should give you an idea of what that would sound like.

Quel Che Volevo (Eng:  What I Wanted) was a great track to end the album on. It’s the victory song that the party sing and rejoice to as they celebrate in the tavern or on the ship. Even when it’s stripped down, VEXILLUM keep up the comradery through their music.

You know that conversation you might have with your friends and family about which album you would have playing at a particular event? Well, I can tell you for certain that VEXILLUM’s When Good Men Go To War is an album I would have playing when travelling on an epic quest. After listening to this, you’ll be eager to join their band of warriors too.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

When Good Men Go To War is out now.

Find VEXILLUM on Facebook.

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