SALT Lake City's metal overlords Visigoth have just released their latest platter of metal with 'The Revenant King' hitting hard and joyfully on to decks of 'true metal' fans; full of swagger and style.
When we reviewed it in January we were taken by the ambition of the band, but with it just out on Metal Blade Records a few short weeks we caught up with Visigoth vocalist Jake Rogers, and wanted to know what his feelings were running up to this release.
"I was a combination of excited and nervous, as anybody would be when about to release new music to the public," said Rogers. "Once some time has passed and the dust settles a bit, all will be normal again."
One of the issues that struck us when reviewing 'The Revenant King' was the lyrical landscape, and Rogers was more than happy to expand on his inspirations.
"The lyrics I write are primarily fantasy storytelling," he said. "I take a lot of inspiration from books, tabletop games, computer/video games, and movies. I grew up reading and gaming a lot, and those influences stuck with me.
"I like lyrics that tell a story or connect with a great pre-existinng story, so I try to do that myself. I'm not a very skilled lyracist, but it is important to me to at least get across the feeling of heroic fantasy tales to the best of my abilities."
For the listener the influences on show by Visigoth are clear, but be wary of asking Jake about those influences - because he may not stop! But then again it is always a delight when a band knows exactly where are coming from...
"We have a lot of different influences that drove us to start Visigoth. The classics are big for us of course, like Judas Priest, Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road, Dio, Rainbow, and Riot," said Jake.
"We are also inspired by NOWBHM such as Saxon, Iron Maiden, Pagan Altar, Demon, Grim Reaper, Elixir, early Saracen. Epic heavy/doom metal is really important to me, including bands such as Atlantean Kodex, Solstice, Doomsword, Argus, and Old Season.
"Traditional heavy metal naturally has a strong impact on our sound, citing bands such as Grand Magus, Metal Inquisitor, Skullview, and Vicious Rumors. Hellenic heavy metal like Battleroar and Holy Martyr, German heavy/speed metal like Accept, Grave Digger, and Brainfever; and some USPM such as Twisted Tower Dire, Jag Panzer, and Pharoah are all a part of the equation as well. Plus some doses of good ol' rock'n'roll like Thin Lizzy, Ashbury, or Uriah Heep.
"What is important to us is finding ways to meet in the middle of all of these influences. It's still something we're trying to figure out.
With those influences it is natural that the arrangements on 'The Revenant King' harken back to those days.
"Being a traditional heavy metal band, we are naturally going to have those sounds because a majority of our influences are from that period in time and the twin guitar sound is absolutely integral to the genre," said Jake.
"We did not, however, arrange the songs in order to be 'retro' or 'throwback' at all - we are simply a heavy metal band, and as such, we have those influences. Traditional heavy metal is a timeless sound that speaks for itself. We aren't bringing anything back, because metal was never dead in the first place.
"We are just one of many bands who pay homage to their roots because they respect the traditions of heavy metal music, regardless of what time period they are playing it in."
And now the band are taking The Revenant King on tour...
"We have a west coast USA tour coming up in April. Europe is on the docket but I cannot confirm anything as of yet besides that we will be playing the mighty Up the Hammers festival in March of 2016, which we are incredibly excited about," he said.
Because we, on this side of the pond are not familiar with their home city, so we looked up Salt Lake City on Wikipedia (we call it research....). There is a lot about the Salt Lake City music scene but no mention of Visigoth. Was Jake annoyed by this oversight?
"Not annoyed at all - I didn't even know that the Salt Lake City Wikipedia page mentioned bands at all until you brought it up," he said.
"The bands on the list are hardcore bands, not metal bands, which brings me to my next point - people who are looking for metal are not looking for it on Wikipedia!"
Hey, we were only trying to find out more, but Jake is right, you don't need a Wikipedia page to find your metal...you're reading it here.
Interview by Jonny