PILLAGING VILLAGERS

Crossover Thrash • United States
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Merging the punk-influenced aggressiveness of crossover thrash with the Celtic melodies of folk metal, the 'peasant metal' of Pillaging Villagers takes the listener on a journey to a medieval world of pitchfork-wielding rebellion where songs of victory and sorrow alike are belted out with tankards raised high.
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PILLAGING VILLAGERS Pillaging Villagers album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Pillaging Villagers
Crossover Thrash 2022

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PILLAGING VILLAGERS Pillaging Villagers

Album · 2022 · Crossover Thrash
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siLLy puPPy
And the metal machine keeps churning as the musical monstrosity continues to siphon up every musical genre on the face of the Earth and turn it into an aggressive behemoth of bantering din for all to behold! The joy of it all! I’ve long failed to be impressed by much as every conceivable avenue of musical exploration has reached the quickening state in the last few decades but it’s also refreshing to realize that there are always new ways of delivering old tricks even if they may not totally reinvent the wheel so to speak.

Coming out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the newbie headbangers on the block PILLAGING VILLAGERS which is actually the brainchild and in reality solo project of vocalist David Frazer who has had his hand in the modern day alchemy of several styles of metal, punk and folk and thrown them into his magic cauldron and stirred them with a furious glee until all came out as a sonic stew of modernity that takes several cues from the past and makes them sparkle with new life. Ah, the beauty of music is that there are seemingly limitless avenues of exploration and although many lead to dead ends, this one certainly finds an instant likability with a feeling of rejuvenating longevity!

While technically a solo project, Frazer employs some serious metal musicians to craft his debut self-titled album of classic vinyl record playing time’s length of just over 39 minutes. Imagine if you will a session where the crossover thrash masters S.O.D. jammed with the folk metal champions Ensiferum and classic Celtic punk rock rebels like The Pogues, Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys. Add a bit of melodic death metal a la Amon Amarth and just a smidge of melodic hardcore courtesy of Bad Religion, Leatherface or Propagandhi and you kinda get the picture! With so many ingredients in the recipe it’s so easy to fuck em up big time but Frazer does an exemplary task of forging these musical specimens into a cohesive whole.

The name of the game here is passion and one which extends beyond the main director’s call. Rather this is truly a band project despite the logistics of royalty distribution. It is more than apparent that these guys had a helluva bitchin’ great time crafting this little surprise that comes to us in the year 2022. In addition to Frazer’s vocals, this PILLAGING VILLAGERS debut features bassist Adam Tucker from A Scanner Darkly, guitarist Brian Koenig from Lords of the Trident and drummer Jason Hirt of Ghost Bath. This well seasoned quartet has mastered the technically instrumental wizardry of death metal at its most demanding levels and channeled it into a folk metal extravaganza that brings instant pub hall sensibilities into the mix which makes you wanna drink your Guinness and then smash something.

Straddling so many genres it’s almost imperceptible to distinguish at any given moment, two attributes unite the 12 tracks on this release. Firstly, there is a constant folk metal energetic rampage in the vein of the Finnish classic Ensiferum’s debut release only instead of Scandinavian folk music as the source of musical scales, PILLAGING VILLAGERS mines the world of Celtic folk and then keeps things in that strange gray area bardo region between the world of punk rock and thrash metal. The tracks are all on the the shorter side with none over four minutes but each delivering a ferocity of the most extreme rampaging examples of metal music.

Melodic with sacrificing the metal bombast. Folky without the cheese. The irreverence of punk with the accomplished musicianship of metal. What’s not to like here? Not all modern music has to be taking us into the next chapter of humanity. Some music is designed to just be fucking fun and this musical experience achieves just that. This is like a soundtrack for metal musicians who just want a night out on the town where the music is not their “usual” listening experience but appeals to their aggressive sensibilities. That is how i see this but with enough exposure this very well could become something that DOES become a “usual” listening experience and for that i really hope that this project gels into a cohesive band experience that takes Celtic folk metal to a new level. Bravo!

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