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.
A concept album composed entirely by vocalist David Frazer, Pillaging Villagers features the session contributions of drummer Jason Hirt (Ghost Bath), guitarist Brian Koenig (Lords of the Trident) and bassist Adam Tucker (A Scanner Darkly). It will be released on March 11th, 2022.
A very unusual combination but one that certainly excites. Imagine a thrash version of the likes of Dropkick Murphys and you have some idea of what Pillaging Villagers sound like. Even still, the punkish fire, thrash heaviness and folkish melodies will startle. Especially as it’s anthem after anthem at first. Wretched of the Earth, We Remember, The Count, The Bishop and The Emperor coming at you fast. Manic instrumentation, snarling vocals, bouncy rhythms, head-banging ferocity and more, all wrapped up in an outlandishly drunken style.
…and then we hit The Crisis and the spitfire, brazen approach is swapped for an eight-minute epic. One that features a more methodical intensity, Pillaging Villagers digging deep into their heavier bag of tricks but still layering it with energetic power and sinister sounding effects. It’s a track that really shouldn’t work, especially when you consider it is surrounded by much shorter and peppier tracks.
More blazing metal and folkish blasts come with Voices to the Sky, Burn the Monastery, Smash the Factory, Ready to Die and Crush the Enemy. With a stronger focus on the folk-side of things, the group vocals really make this feel like songs of yester-year being sung in a packed, warm and grubby inn.
Pillaging Villagers then wrap up the album with the chest-thumping and fist-shaking finale of Freedom is Ours. A true anthem of defiance and one final track to put a big smile on the face. Something that will likely be plastered on most throughout the album.
Grab a beer, a loved one or even a stranger, raise your fist to the sky and sing along loudly.
Pillaging Villagers – Pillaging Villagers Full Track Listing:
1. Wretched of the Earth
2. We Remember
3. The Count
4. The Bishop
5. The Emperor
6. The Crisis
7. Voices in the Sky
8. Burn the Monastery
9. Smash the Factory
10. Ready to Die
11. Crush the Enemy
12. Freedom is Ours
Pillaging Villagers - Pillaging Villagers (Self Released)
The Final Score - 7.5/10