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Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, Visigoth followed up their 2015 debut album earlier this year with another full length platter of retro sounding metal, 'Conqueror's Oath'. Brimming with a whole gamut influences pastiched from the likes of Thin Lizzy through to Maiden and Helloween et al, this musically anachronistic mob continue to emphatically fly the flag for metal's classic heydey. Metal Discovery had a quick Q&A with guitarist Jamison Palmer...
METAL DISCOVERY: ‘Conqueror’s Oath’ comes to us hot off the momentum from your 2015 debut album, ‘The Revenant King’. One difference is that you have evolved from songs ranging from well over 5-6 minutes each, to now having quicker or punchier tunes this go around. What led to that compositional change?
JAMISON: Most of the change was simply due to us agreeing that we all wanted this album to fit on a single LP. Another big factor was our experience touring on the first album. Often, when we had a set length of 30-40 minutes, only 5 or 6 songs could fit in that time, leaving fans feeling like we didn't play enough material, despite attempting to pack in as much music as possible.
(Jamison Palmer on appreciating metal's heritage)
"...I'd argue that if one is listening to metal music and does not enjoy Thin Lizzy, some priorities are out of order!"
Visigoth- promo shot
Interview by Joshua Jaeger
Photograph copyright © 2017 - uncredited
Thanks to Andy Turner for offering and arranging the interview
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MD: Do you feel that you were able to continue to progress from your last album or was this more of a fresh start?
JAMISON: This is absolutely a continuation of the last album's path. We have been gaining experience with every passing year and, so far, we have had a steady progression.
MD: How was the studio time and production process any different or similar to recording ‘The Revenant King’?
JAMISON: During the recording of 'The Revenant King', Jake, our vocalist, was stricken with some health issues that directly affected his voice. After a couple long, hard-fought years of him coming to grips with these issues, we had a much faster time recording the album this time around.
MD: Are there any traditions that you follow during the process of putting together an album?
JAMISON: So far, we have no specific rituals or traditions, beyond recording both albums in the same studio.
MD: What would you consider the biggest struggle this time around? Did you suffer from the acme of “difficult second album syndrome” in any way?
JAMISON: Time was our main enemy for this album. The production was on a very intense schedule to be out in time for the European tour, and was often somewhat gruelling, with all of us working day jobs at the same time as the recording process. We initially felt the “second album syndrome” pressure, but after hearing final mixes, that seemed to dissolve away!
MD: Do you have any specific messages you are trying to get across to the listeners on ‘Conqueror’s Oath’? Did you place any deeper meaning behind the lyrics within songs like ‘Outlive Them All’?
JAMISON: Jake has written in many themes of overcoming adversity, taking risks, and finding strength within oneself. ‘Outlive Them All’ may be one of the most straightforward songs on the record, lyrically speaking, as it's simply about the ‘Highlander’ films and comics, for which we have a shared enthusiasm, as a band.
MD: What led you to work a track like ‘Salt City’ and bring this into the mix? It seems to break the overall theme of the album. Was this just hidden brilliance?
JAMISON: We had been playing that song live for a number of years, and it represents a hard rock influenced side of the band that can be heard in earlier songs such as 'Call of the Road', from the ‘Final Spell’ EP. We love bands like Thin Lizzy, Rainbow, UFO, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, and others, and the song is a loving tribute to that side of the heavy metal family tree! It may be somewhat removed from the other songs, thematically, but I'd argue that if one is listening to metal music and does not enjoy Thin Lizzy, some priorities are out of order!
MD: Who would be some of your favourite bands to tour with?
JAMISON: In a fantasy world, an Iron Maiden/Judas Priest/Saxon tour seems like the ideal tour! In real life, we'd be honored to tour with a wide variety of bands, from our friends in Night Demon (as we've done twice before), all the way up to the top.
MD: Do you have any wild stories or bizarre, random occurrences you would like to share from your most recent tours?
JAMISON: There was a rumor that Jake was escorted out of the building or arrested following our set at Metal Assault in Wurzburg, which was absolutely hilarious for us to hear of later, being mostly mild-mannered nerd types.
MD: Being one of the frontrunner bands of the current US power metal scene, do you plan to tour worldwide this year?
JAMISON: We have plans for more touring in Europe, our first UK shows ever, and an exclusive appearance on the West Coast of the USA at Frost and Fire IV.
MD: Finally, what’s in store for the band next?
JAMISON: We're planning our third album and beginning the songwriting process, and in the meantime, we'll be playing as many gigs are we're able! Thanks for the interview, and cheers!