Kerrigan – Bloodmoon (High Roller Records)Wednesday, 20th September 2023
It’s always interesting to look at the origins of new bands, as they sprout up in so many different ways. In the case of German act Kerrigan, the duo behind the instruments/vocals already had another act going with funeral doom band Lone Wanderer, previously releasing an EP and two full-lengths. One rehearsal jamming out traditional heavy metal led to the start of Kerrigan – quickly assembling a demo in 2020 of three originals plus a Wolf (UK) cover. High Roller Records smartly scooped up the band, which brings us to the debut full-length for Bloodmoon. Guitarist/bassist Bruno Schotten and vocalist/guitarist Jonas Weber receive drum assistance from session musician Jonathan Döring, allowing these eight songs to captivate lovers of 80’s heavy metal, especially the early NWOBHM and German/Swedish movements.
Rich guitar riffs full of fire/brimstone vigor combine with majestic twin harmony parts to keep the mood positive and uplifting, Jonathan adding the right double kick, thrilling fills, plus mandatory tempo anthem foundation that carries this material to the stars. Songs like “Eternal Fire” and “Forces of Night” align well with followers of Iron Maiden or Accept, while the epic tracks such as “Against the Westwind” and closer “Mesmerizer” serve up galloping passages or cultural twists that harken aspects of Rainbow or Heavy Load during their prime. Jonas as a singer may not necessarily recall pinpoint eagle highs like Dickinson or Halford, but he does possess a mountainous presence in a higher, semi-falsetto way that is hard to miss – while executing multi-part harmonization in key chorus passages to keep “Hold the Banner” in highlight territory. Primal, organic tones allow the production values to also ring true to the old school vibe they get across – while the cover art strikingly matches what listeners can expect when pressing play on these proceedings.
Naturally musicians develop numerous musical ideas as well as the desire to express/channel those thoughts into proper vehicles. Kerrigan is a welcome sight for all traditional metal followers – Bloodmoon containing the requisite passion, talent, and abilities to execute songwriting in anthem or epic territory. This should be exciting to watch the development of this group as they’ve already generated healthy interest in a short period of time – elevate those fists in honor of this mighty start.