I have already written several times on this blog that Lord Vigo is one of the greatest metal bands Germany currently has to offer: The outfit from Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, was founded in 2014 and has both an unmistakable style and an impeccable discography. This will not change in 2022, even if the current record We Shall Overcome will not go down as an opus magnum in Lord Vigo’s glorious history.
Before we turn to the music, a few words about the content: On the lyrical level, Lord Vigo continue the story of Rush’s milestone 2112 from 1976 – the plot is set 25 years later. For that alone, the Germans deserve my respect, because you first have to come up with such a wacky, innovative and bold idea. Against this background, it will certainly come as no surprise to you that fans of the three Canadians also musically get their money’s worth on We Shall Overcome (especially thanks to “A Gathering of Clouds“!).
Already with the first song “The Heart of Eternal Night“, which follows a band-typical intro with voice samples, I feel at home: Vinz Clortho’s voice, which has a high recognition value, thrilled and touched me from the beginning. Of course, the new studio album is also filled with fantastic vocal lines, which can only be found in this slightly quirky form on Lord Vigo releases. The same applies to a certain extent to the wonderful, melancholic, highly emotional guitar leads, for which Volguus Zildrohar, Tony Scoleri and Nunzio Scoleri are responsible. In addition, the band once again – like Rush in the 1980s – knows how to use keyboards in such a way that they are an indispensable part of the overall picture, contributing enormously to the remarkable depth of the compositions. Lord Vigo have long since found their characteristic sound, which they vary a little with each album. The Metallum continues to speak of epic doom, but in my opinion this is misleading, as we are offered a mixture of numerous styles – not least new wave or synth rock (whoever now thinks of albums like Signals or Power Windows is not wrong…).
The biggest hit of the record is without question “Natural Habitat“ – I’m sure that every fan of the band wants to smash the furnishings of his flat for joy. Everything fits here, and I can’t wait to celebrate this number with its adorable chorus live. Although there are no failures, but instead numerous other excellent tracks to marvel at (first and foremost “From Our Ashes We Will Rise“, the title track and “A New Dark Age“), we are dealing with my highlight of the record without any ifs and buts. If the world was a fair place, Lord Vigo would be put on heavy rotation by every radio station with this monster….
Are there also points of criticism? Yes, although on a high level: All Lord Vigo albums so far have had at least one great epic anthem on offer – “Eternal Saviour“, “Memento Mori“ and the 13-minute “Six Must Die“ are particularly worthy of mention in this context. I haven’t found such a composition on We Shall Overcome yet – maybe a track will grow in the course of time, but I’m a bit sceptical about it. I also have to struggle a bit with “A Necessary Evil“ – I think the number is basically well done, but the chorus doesn’t really appeal to me. Looking at the band’s back catalogue, I conclude that this has never happened to me before…
Definitely worth mentioning at this point is the 28-page booklet, which is adorned by a comic strip on which six artists, mainly from Asia, have collaborated. As you can see, Lord Vigo offer their fans a lot – and so much creativity deserves special points, as we are all too often confronted with rather lovelessly put together releases. I’m already looking forward to my deluxe box, which will get a place of honour on the shelf.
Conclusion: We Shall Overcome is a strong, varied album that should be recommended to every fan of sophisticated electric guitar music. If this were the band’s debut, I would probably be completely enthusiastic in view of the high quality presented on all levels – but records like Six Must Die and Danse de Noir remain unrivalled. With their fifth album, Lord Vigo nevertheless hold their own in the Champions League of the German metal underground, which is more alive than ever before. But I can already claim that it won’t be my album of the year – and I had hoped for it a bit, if I’m honest. However, Top 10 is still possible… Obey the Lord!