It’s a full seven years since I last came across Danish maulers Pectora, during which times they have acquired a new vocalist and bassist and something of a change in direction.

I described them then as being in the same postcode as Metal Church; and whilst tracks like Children of The Atom do indeed have more than a whiff of Vanderhoof’s finest, and probably sit amongst the best of the band’s new crop of tunes, they’ve adopted a slightly more epic, traditional feel here thanks in main to that new vocalist I mentioned, Philip Butler.

Butler is a ‘proper’ heavy metal singer – and English to boot – and so immediately the band do sound more trad than before, maybe sitting now somewhere between the sophisticated sci-fi metal of Primitai and the more straightforward headbanging fare of names like Neuronspoiler and Monument. But whatever the stylistic shift, it’s clesr that the band as a whole has really upgraded it’s songwriting capabilities on Twilight Nights.

Superbly produced – Sebastian ‘Seeb’ Levermann (of Orden Organ, you’ll remember) has helped the band forge an absolute beast of a sound – tracks like the grinding Where Everything Begins represent nothing less than glorious, headbangworthy HEAVY METAL. New bassist Gustav Solberg is a gratifyingly prominent presence in the mix, standing proud alongside axe men Morten S. Nielsen and Søren Weiss to present a fantastic tripartite threat to your hearing, and the end result is some of the most downright enjoyable heavy metal you’ll hear in 2024.

Closing track On Forlorn Wings is the band at their most epic, powered by the thunderous drumming of Nicolas K. Frandsen and featuring Miller’s full repertoire of vocalisation, but this is just one facet of a band who, on the evidence of this new album, have got all the metal bases covered thank you very much. Highly recommended!

Twilight Knights releases on April 5th.