Sergeant Thunderhoof - This Sceptered Veil
(Pale Wizard Records)

Release Date: Out Now

Bath psyche rockers Sergeant Thunderhoof have not only brought one of the best band names of 2022 to the table but they have also taken my breath away with their outstanding new album. 'This Sceptered Veil' is heavy, that should be said up front, but boy is it good and if you're a fan of bands like Orange Goblin and Boy Hits Car then this will be right up your street. Let's dive in, shall we? 

Opening track 'You've Stolen The Words' gets going with a stone slab of a riff that will have even the most reserved of souls nodding their heads in time and appreciation. 'Devil's Daughter' keeps the riffs large and the drums even bigger but with more of a Monster Truck energy to this driving anthem before 'Absolute Blue' takes us to a moodier and more psyche inspired place with plenty of reverb to lose yourself in. Coming in at over ten minutes, 'Foreigner' is one of the longer tracks on the album and it transitions brilliantly through different movements like a mini rock opera. There is a grinding, churning bass sound on 'Woman Call' which adds an earthy quality to the slinky, seductive guitar line but the song soon explodes in to a more familiar riff-fest like the mating call of a Viking in heat. 

Sergeant Thunderhoof's prog tendancies come to the fore on 'King Beyond The Gates' as the largely instrumental rock opus only allows the vocals to join in towars the end when the war is already won. There is time for one more rock'n'roll romp on 'Show Don't Tell' which owes a little to AC/DC and all those that came after but is no less enjoyable for wearing its influences on its sleeve. The last two tracks are given over to 'Avon and Avalon Part I' and 'Avon and Avalon Part II' which combine to create an atmospheric, druid inspired tale of mysticism and a time long forgot through the medium of really heavy riffs and a rhythm section forged out of the remnants of Stone Henge and Glastonbury Tor. This really is an immersive giant of an album which will take more than a passive attention span so gird your loins and prepare to do battle. 

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