VEXILLUM - The Bivouac

Vexillum - The Bivouac

12 songs
63:47 minutes
***** **


In 2004 the band started as Shadow Vexillum, and three years later they shortened their name to simply Vexillum, even though a German band had the same name. The band in question is an Italian quintet that combines traditional fantasy metal with a little folk. After their debut The Wandering Notes, they are now back with its successor The Bivouac.

The album starts with The Wanderer’s Note, a nod to their debut album. On this track the band offers purest and technically flawless power metal that reminds me strongly of Dragonforce. As one is used from Italian bands, Vexillum put a lot of emphasis on speed and playfulness, without ever neglecting the melodic component. The vocals are rather high but still strong enough, and the choruses often show off dominant choir parts. Some tracks have a slight folk connotation thanks to flute parts, like for instance The Oak And Lady Flame and The Dream, both of which start quietly before gradually gaining momentum. When the folk parts move to the background, the pace picks up, and we are in the presence of splendid tracks like the fast and playful The Marketsquare Of Dooly and the great hymn Valhalla. Vexillum seem to be mostly influenced by German bands. Of you like the early works of Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray and Helloween, you should find a lot to like on this album.

The Bivouac can be recommended to fans of Teutonic metal the way it was popular between 1985 and 1995. The Italians certainly do a good job, but unlike their football skills, they can’t yet beat the Germans when it comes to metal. Also one might reproach the album of being a little too long, as not every song can quite achieve the same high quality level.

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