Sergeant Thunderhoof – This Sceptred Veil

When the new year was just starting and plenty of us were thinking of what to look forward to just as we were done recollecting the wonders of the year past, there was one name that was lodged at the forefront of my brain: Sergeant Thunderhoof. While I was regrettably not one of the people that supported the band in the funding to bring their next creation to life, it was just the very news of a fresh release from this band that instantly caught my attention and high expectations with it. This band has never been one to drop the ball, and after their phenomenal split with Howling Giant two years ago, I knew they would raise the bar yet again even if it defied all the logical odds. But now, I can effortlessly and confidently say that none of you are ready for what Sergeant Thunderhoof brought to the table for this new epic.

It’s always interesting to me whenever I see a band is going for something “darker” or “denser” since it really does feel like not everyone is on the same wavelength when it comes to what exactly that entails which made me particularly interested to see how Sergeant Thunderhoof would tackle it for their third full-length, “This Sceptred Veil”. With the additional influence of drawing in a great deal from the legends that originated from the band’s own backyard of Southwest England, it already makes this album set a bar for the listener without having to hear even a single note of the album with the band’s reputation more than speaking for itself and the very nads of Sergeant Thunderhoof the sort of thing modern legends of made out of. Everything they’ve delivered up to this point has been better than the excellence before it whether it be a 20-minute monolith of a track or a riff-laden anthem that is all but infectious with its melody and heaviness. And yet, it is in every possible way that “This Sceptred Veil” needs to be hailed as the band’s crowning achievement to date and an effortless album of the year contender.

You know you’re in for a damn good experience when it’s from just the very first track alone that you get the sensation that there is glory and true excellence to be found every corner that you will turn. That’s just the very beginning of what “This Sceptred Veil” brings to the table with it being jock-full of elements that are sure to win the hearts and ears of many fans while simultaneously stunning veteran fans who knew damn well what the band is capable of, but they simply weren’t ready for this! In the nine tracks presented to us here, Sergeant Thunderhoof manages to bring forth a devastating concoction of psychedelia-tinged, riff-filled heaviness that’s still somehow as smooth as water that’s gripping, intoxicating, and endlessly fascinating as each track not only has its own distinct identity, they come together to allow “This Sceptred Veil” to have this aura that makes it all but necessary for the listener to just keep listening to what has been brought forth in this magnificent effort for it’s not an experience that leaves you easily. It’s the precise kind of mastery that both the realms of metal and rock are constantly salivating for.

This is the kind of effort that crosses such a boundary seamlessly, almost in deliberate defiance, in order to deliver a performance that’s as striking as it is jaw-dropping, and it’s in every possible way that Sergeant Thunderhoof has capitalized on that potential in every aspect without question. “This Sceptred Veil” is mastery in the aural form, and I would fight anyone who would dare deny this band the title of Kings To Be should they keep the trajectory they’ve held thus far. This record is destined to be hailed as one of the most striking creations of its kind this year, and I can’t help but feel that one of the only things that would top this effort as one of the decade’s best efforts would be the next volume from the glorious cacophony that can only be forged by Sergeant Thunderhoof.

“This Sceptred Veil” releases on June 3rd via Pale Wizard Records!

LISTEN to advanced tracks from “This Sceptred Veil” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE Sergeant Thunderhoof on Facebook here.

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