Sergeant Thunderhoof (great name!) hail from the lovely city of Bath. The band formed in 2013 and have released three previous albums. Their latest effort – This Sceptred Veil is by far their most accomplished work. If you’re a fan of Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Corrosion of Conformity, Monster Magnet, Soundgarden, Hawkwind, and Green Lung you will absolutely love Sergeant Thunderhoof. Big down tuned riffs, melodic vocals, swinging drums and thundering bass are the order of the day.
The album kicks off with You’ve Stolen the Words which has a riff bigger than Godzilla, it reminds me a little of Albatross by COC (no bad thing!) When the band all kick in together it really is a sonic assault. Daniel Flitcroft has a fantastic voice that soars over the music, and he really has a knack for memorable harmonies. Devil’s Daughter is a barnstormer of a song with another great guitar riff and some superb minimalistic drumming from Darren Ashman, he really knows how to play for the song. Absolute Blue has an air of early Tool about it, almost hypnotic. Foreigner is a more up-tempo track with an earworm of a chorus. Woman Call has another massive riff, the band just seems to be able to churn them out at will! Fantastic.
King Beyond the Gates reminds me a little of early Paradise Lost with its harmonic lead guitar work from guitarist Mark Sayer. Show Don’t Tell moves into a more direct approach with a crunchy riff and yet another catchy chorus. The album finale of Avon & Avalon Parts 1 & 2 really showcases what Sergeant Thunderhoof are capable of. Plenty of light and shade, combined with a real depth of songwriting, and subject matter around the magical Isle of Avalon make for incredibly interesting listening.
As I sit writing this review, I have pre-ordered the album from Bandcamp. You should absolutely do the same. I salute you Sergeant.
Author: Kenny Kendrick