We first brought Bavarians Don’t Drop the Sword to your attention via the good offices of Ferrum Templor’s Crusade of Power. Ferrum was talking about the band’s debut EP, Into the Fire, then, and very impressed he was too.

Now, ten months later the band are ready to unleash their debut full length release. And guess what? It too is pretty damn good!

Don’t Drop the Sword deal in stripped-down, incredibly old school speed/power metal. Whether this is by design or because their recording budget didn’t stretch to sumptuous keyboard washes and guest appearances from Eastern European symphony orchestras isn’t clear, what you get as a result of circumstances straightened or otherwise is pure, unadulterated heavy metal. And it’s great.

Really, gilding the lily wouldn’t do majestic tracks like Hero of All Times or Rotten Wings any good anyway. The songs are more than strong enough to stand strong on their own without any studio trickery or frippery. Vocalist Anti has a powerful, clean voice that sits atop the musical mayhem with a regal presence. Yes, he’s an almost eerie dead ringer for Hansi Kürsch, but I honestly cannot find one single point on the album where this almost sibling similarity causes any problem whatsoever. Just enjoy the man’s skill!

Similarly impressive is drummer Dom, who delivers an absolutely powerhouse performance on every track, with his rolls and fills on Kings of the Dragon Age being particularly cheerworthy. And that’s before we’ve got anywhere his piston-like legs…

Guitarists Max and Alvin don’t miss out on the praise either; Max delivers some scorching solos (particularly on King…) and both riff like bastards everywhere else. Bassist Matthias doesn’t get much of a look in in the taut and heavy mix, though you do hear him to good effect on the epic Sapphire Skies.

If you love the old school of Germanic heavy metal, that time in the mid to late eighties before it all got a bit florid, then you’ll have a lot of fun with Path to Eternity. This is unabashed, joyful heavy metal, played as the Gods intended. Seek it out.

Path to Eternity will be released soon. Check out the band’s website for more details.