Although the press release that accompanies the new  album from Millennium makes much of the band’s NWoBHM lineage – and why not? there’s cold hard cash to be made from Nostalgia metal in 2023- it’s actually gratifying to see that the band themselves don’t overplay the history card too much on The Sign Of Evil – despite the album’s gloriously retro sleeve art…

Rather, they’ve put together a very listenable album that’s rooted in their New Wave legacy for sure, whilst also acknowledging vocalist Mark Duffy‘s thrash dabblings (he was a member of seminal UK thrashers Toranaga after Millennium split the first time around) and throwing a heap of newer influences into the mix to create a rather nice sound indeed.

The title track is the band at their most retroactive, but even here the production is clean and modern, adding levels of punch and attack to the drums and the guitars that would have been unthinkable for a band at Millennium’s level in the early eighties. This is brash, sleek heavy metal straight out of the top draw, much like fellow Brits Marshall Law were churning out whilst Duffy was getting his thrash on.

Thy Kingdom Come is one of three tracks to be graced by the splendid guitar skills of fellow NWoBHM survivor Kenny Nicholson (a veteran of Fast Kutz, Holland and Hammer from those halcyon days); It’s absolutely life affirming stuff, capturing the lightning that entranced us all back in the day and bottling it for future generations with cocksure savvy. It’s undeniable in it’s forward motion despite essentially being another slice of misty-eyed remembrance of things past, barrelling ahead with reckless abandon on the back of Duffy’s confident delivery and some superb drumming from Acid Reign‘s Marc Jackson.

Guests abound across the whole of the album, but that doesn’t dilute the coherent feel that the band mange to create on TSOE; Duffy’s voice binds the whole thing together with strident power and no little style, with the man displaying commanding vocal skill throughout in a pleasantly unshowy manner whatever the style of metal it is that the band happens to be serving up. That’s a mark of real class, and class is definitely a word I’d use to describe this album. Great stuff.

The Sign of Evil Releases on May 19th.