Twilight of the Gods – Fire on the Mountain (Season of Mist)

Wednesday, 25th September 2013
Rating: 9/10

Loaded to the hilt, and with a name that evokes visions of Bathory and Helloween, Twilight of the Gods is latest entry into the metal supergroup fray. Their name is derived from the Bathory album of the same name, not the ‘Weenie jam that spawned 900 European power metal bands, so it would be presumptuous to assume this is another Viking foray and pillage. Fire on the Mountain isn’t your standard Scandinavian metal homage; it’s a firebrand (pun!), classic metal offering with character, class, and charisma…and is one of the year’s best albums.

The lineup – Alan Averill (vocals, Primordial); Rune Eriksen (guitars, ex-Mayhem, Ava Inferi); Peter Lindgren (guitars, Thyrfing), Frode Glesnes (bass, Einherjer); and Nick Barker (drums, ex-Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir – has made an obvious appeal to 80’s traditional metal, traversing the path long tread by Maiden, Dio, Manowar, and Accept. Hardly a novel approach, but when pared down with simplicity and hook-driven songs, the results are immediate and glorious. The riffs stock the block from Powerslave (check out the lovely harmonies on “Children of Cain”), while a focused, deadly pick attack on opener “Destiny Forged in Blood” is a valiant, into-glory-ride moment if there ever was one.

Averill, though, is the all-star, free from his sometimes restrictive chains in Primordial, where he has to do battle with unconventional and elongated riff segments. On Fire on the Mountain, he’s unleashed, with some hair-raising moments on the title track, as well as “Preacher Man.” Convincing, authoritative, and imaginative, Averill has turned in a career performance, and by the time closer “At Dawn We Ride” winds down, it’s perfectly clearly that Twilight of the Gods aren’t your typical big-name collection, and Fire on the Mountain is an absolutely stellar debut. A must-have.

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