Album Review: Sergeant Thunderhoof - This Sceptred Veil
Reviewed by Neil Bolton
The opening riff of this album will infect you as soon as it touches your ears. By the time Dan Filtcroft exclaims “All Right!”, you, as a listener, are fully intoxicated with this doomy psychedelic music. Less than two minutes and this album had me, and to be honest it still has not yet relinquished its grip.
The feel and rhythm of the opening track “You’ve Stolen the Words” is complex and addictive. The tactile sticky riff grabs hold and really does not let go.
These boys from Somerset have slowly been growing in stature with live performances and well received albums for some time now, and the experience and knowledge collected over the years is showing. The riffs that emerge from the guitar of Mark Sayer are heavy and infectious, and his solo work does not let the side down either. That axe burns in his hands.
Filtcroft has a voice that is clean and sharp and able to deliver in a powerful and legible level. The second song 'Devils Daughter' displays that perfectly. Darren Ashman on the drums is not content to just sit behind his kit and look cool either, he flies around the kit showing a high level of musicianship.
The third number on 'This Sceptred Veil' has a slight shift change putting the vocals even more in the lime light, it is still a riffy little bugger but is certainly less heavy in its metal. Guitar solo skills are once more displayed and Jim Camp’s bass bounces and shines, working with drums and then guitars, but never against the other.
This band have a massive musical ability and they use it to full effect throughout this release. There are only two tracks on here that are shorter in running time than five minutes thirty, and the longer tracks take each take you on a journey. The speed and tone of each of these tracks shifts along with the heaviness of them. They never ever dip below awesome, and continue on each listen to expose more and more delicate touches and gut punching heaviness this band possess. Each track is distinct but still managing to contain the Thunderhoof style. A style which has produced a marvellous piece of work.