German metal stalwart Jutta Weinhold is back, her stentorian bellow fronting another album from her excellent band, Velvet Viper.

Let this sink in: Jutta is seventy five years old.

Seriously. This fact beggars belief as you sit, pinned to the back wall of your living room by the sheer power of her vocals on cracking new tracks such as  New World Child and Urd Wardrande Skula. Vocalists with this sort of ability don’t come around very often, and it’s an absolute pleasure to listen to what would be an impressive performance by someone half Weinhold’s venerable age. If I can muster up even a tenth as much vocal fortitude at the post office when I’m getting my pension at that age, I’ll be a very happy Strickmann indeed…

It’s not all about the voice, though – and let’s face it, even the best tonsils are compromised by second rate material – so luckily Jutta’s colleagues hold up their end of the bargain by providing some punishing backdrops for her to weave her magic over. For the most part this takes the form of anthemic, Accept-styled Teutonic metal; Occasionally you get the feeling the band were enjoying themselves so much in the studio they forgot about basic premises like ‘self-editing’, as some of the tracks here threaten to topple over under the sheer weight of riffage being pumped out, but that’s really a small complaint in the face of such uniformly excellent fayre.

Holger Marx comes up with some great solos – particularly his epic effort on closing track Es kommt die Zeit – and the booming rhythm section of drummer Micha Fromm and four stringer Johannes Möllers keep things tight n’heavy with some nice performances that motor along with real intent, even when the focus threatens to wander a little. This isn’t an album that’s going to open many new doors for Velvet Viper, but as a piece of hugely enjoyable, straightforward metal it’s an undoubted success all the same. Well worth a listen!

Nothing Compares To Metal releases on July 21st