TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS (1999)/DOWN AMONG THE DEADMEN (2000)/TRAVELLER (2003) BOX SET REISSUE – METAL BLADE RECORDS
It’s about damn time these records were available. Metal Blade Records announced the signing of Slough Feg – formerly known as the Lord Weird Slough Feg – on January 14. The San Francisco-via-Pennsylvania quartet has been wowing audiences for nearly 20 years and remain criminally underrated despite their loving take on classic heavy metal which features a liberal dose of nerd. After releasing eight full-lengths, a compilation and live album, it appears the ninth will be released soon. Thank goodness, as it’s already been three years since the Profound Lore offering, The Animal Spirits. Several that preceded it indicated stagnation, but The Animal Spirits suffered from no such trouble. Hopefully, this means whatever follows will knock our socks off. But, I digress. This is about the reissue box set that will feature Twilight of the Idols (1999), Down Among the Deadmen (2000), and Traveller (2003).
Originally released on Italian power metal label, Dragonheart Records, each of the three albums offer an Anglo-Saxon bent on the NWOBHM. This means the characteristic metal gallop alongside semi-operatic sea captain-esque vocals clearly inspired by the left hand path. As in, there are Celtic folk integrations and the songs are about going to battle. And yes, it fucking rules. This is the metal people call “cheesy,” but it’s got nothing in common with DragonForce or Blind Guardian. It’s more earnest and odd and made by a true personality within metal whose many writings have inspired and inflamed. If you’ve yet to hear it, I highly recommend sashaying to your local record store – or turning on your computer – and throwing some money down. You won’t be dissatisfied. More likely, you’ll be inspired to dance or bang along while you chug mead and your lover dons a Viking helmet and no underpants.
By Sarah Kitteringham