Bavarian headbangers Eisenhauer – not named after the famous American general, apparently, but rather the ice-fangs to be found on their Wild Boar mascot – deliver gloriously irony-free heavy metal straight out of, well, something even older than the old school, actually… They are so rigidly traditional, so stern-faced in delivery and so tunnel-visioned in devotion to the cause that some younger readers might find their schtick all a bit wearisome, not to say laughable. However, if your idea of a roaring night in involves a mead horn and a stack of Grand Magus and Heavy Load albums then I might just have found your new favourite band…
Wild Boar Banner is a glorious battle hymn, a call-to-arms that the faithful simply won’t fail to rally to; Imagine JB Christoffersson singing an as-yet unreleased Manowar anthem left over from the Into Glory Road sessions and you’re getting close to the exalted stratospheres that Eisenhauer aspire to recreate. They bloody well succeed too, ramping the drama up to trouser-splitting levels as vocalist Christian ‘Waxe’ Wagner intones his tales of heroism and steel. It’s stirring stuff to be sure!
Wagner also shares guitar duties with Simon Bihlmayer, and the pair certainly work together well, as does the rhythm section of bassist Thomas ‘Ase’ Aschermann and drummer Johann Bechteler, both of whom stand out impressively on the rollicking Ghost Warrior, which runs Wild Boar Banner close in the best track on the album stakes. Let the steel sing indeed!
Every song here is an epic tale, yet Eisenhauer display a fine sense of dynamics and clearly possess a keen self-editing skill collectively which means that none of the tracks – even those that weigh in over the six and seven minute mark – ever feel bloated or boring. They know how to build drama, and they know how to write a song that immediately gets the listener involved – great skills to possess. And whilst they provide no shocks with Blessed Be The Hunter, it’s also true that there is never a dull moment on this album if true metal thrills and spills are what you crave. This is ‘A’ grade stuff!
Blessed Be The Hunter is out on June 6th.