Wotan – “Carmina Barbarica”
This is the first album by this veteran Italian old-school metal band (they started out at about 1988), and it harkens back to the days of early Manowar, mid-age Virgin Steele with some early Iron Maiden thrown on for good measure.
The band’s music and lyrics are heavily influenced by middle ages battles and history, which is always a good thing, their lyrics are quite well written, though they certainly contain a fair amount of heavy metal cheese, still, since this album is unashamedly a retro one, it comes off all right.
Opener, “Lord Of The Wind” is a good example of the band’s styling, old school heavy metal, straight out of the early 80’s, solid playing by the band members and a crunchy sound, and some rather high pitched vocals, they are quite impressive at times, yet tend to use a bit too much tremolo in certain bits, such as in the second, slower track – “Under The Sign Of Odin’s Ravens”.
“Hussard De La Mort” is a much faster track, sounding much more like a power metal track, with rolling double-bass drumming, there’s no debuting the band’s musicianship, but they tend to use is in an extremely retro fashion, which is probably what someone who’ll listen to the album will want. One of the best tracks here is “Innoxia”, some solid Iron Maiden-like riffing, and good guitar work, again, the fine sound works well for the band.
This is a definite love it or hate it affair, nothing modern about this, this is for oldschool metalheads only, if you’re one, you’ll probably like this album.