Finnish band Lord Fist released their second album, Wilderness of Hearts, and stay in a similar, glorious vein as their debut (Green Eyleen). In other words, it includes with that special twist the Scandinavian bands are so adept at.
So, sit back and prepare for a hybrid of some Angel Witch/Hellenbach/early Iron Maiden style antic. The opener ‘First Morning – Collapse’ has a sort of punkish tinge behind the out and out 70’s metal riffing and soloing guitars. The first three tracks nearly blend as they have similar structures, but ‘Flying Over Tiprinith’ has a more faceted approach and is the better for it. The 49-second instrumental ‘Moonhalo’ proves they can be subtle too as it is a nice lull before frantic energy is back with the rather tasty ‘Sisters’. ‘Tigers of Snow’ has a Steve Harris-like bass as the song develops into Powerslave-era Iron Maiden, whereas closing track ‘Wilderness of Hearts’ makes me think of a combination of Hanoi Rocks and Black Sabbath! My favourite, though, is ‘Princess of the Red Flame,’ which takes cues from Painkiller-era Judas Priest. After ear-piercing feedback, changing time signatures, and a quality solo, that element is very likely to remain.
Those comparisons are not meant to distract from the band’s originality and the ten tracks, which lasts just 35 minutes. The whole album is an invitation to revel in my younger days with raw, professional metal like what it used to be. If one of your favourite albums, like me, is the Neat Records compilation Leadweight, then this is just made for you.