Sergeant Thunderhoof – This Sceptred Veil
Pale Wizard Records – 2022
Rock, Stoner, Psych, Prog, Metal
Let’s start with the most obvious conclusion, the good boys of Sergeant Thunderhoof produced one of the catchiest songs of the year and one that will have to be on their setlist for the rest of time. Ya’ll will know which track we’re talking about, but we will say it out loud anyway: the second track Devil’s Daughter! Sure, all the hardcore Thunderhoof fans and all the heavy underground loving rock fiends will tell you they have a different favorite one and do so with a faint smile and a glint in their eyes. And everyone will know, that just like the rest of the world, the catchy returning riff, the vocals, the release and the energy of Devil’s Daughter is unparalleled and secretly everyones absolute favorite.
And now that we’ve gotten that most obvious of remarks out of the way let’s state the following as well, the new album This Sceptred Veil is meant for the ages, it’s one of those albums that will ring on forever and slowly turn Sergeant Thunderhoof into a legendary band. Or perhaps it already has. Opener You’ve Stolen The Words goes the way of gigantism; with its wide arcs and the vocals, which by the way have become even better on this album than on all those that came before. It grabs you entirely, pulls you closer to the abyss, has you dangling over and just whispers in your ear to enjoy the view. Which you will; even if there is unbelievable peril in your heart, it will also fluster it with glee for all you see and hear…
Third track Absolute Blue has the same kind of wide vista, giant vocal lines and an emotional charge that will give you shivers and run a current of electricity up your spine. Are we biased? Of course, there is no such thing as objectivity and definitely not when it comes to music. Have we always been this much into Sergeant Thunderhoof? Why yes, just check out our earlier reviews of Ride The Hoof or Zigurat. But the growth, once again, displayed on This Sceptred Veil album has the ability to not just shock and awe long time fans. This album should be heard by all heavy rock and metal crazies, cause it will undoubtedly become a favorite for them all. And I’m not just referencing metal fans here because of the highly eighties, NWOBHM-tinted seventh track Show Don’t Tell. There’s a lot of metal and it’s all used in such a way that it marries the psych, prog and stoner influences so it becomes this incredible immersive experience. And there will be moments when a heavy rock, heavy metal high, will induce euphoria and might bring you to tears. Or it might just be me… And then there’s the sound, the mix, the pristine production value. I’ve heard many records mastered by Tony Reed, but this record will belong to his best work ever, forever. How much we need to credit Mr. Reed or recording producer Josh Gallop, is of course unclear, what is clear, is the sound, and that they both helped deliver an album that can only be seen as sheer perfection. Sergeant Thunderhoof and their new album This Sceptred Veil are for me personally already legendary… Now if I can only figure out why I want to go to the toilet after hearing Devil’s Daughter…
(Written by JK)