Release Date: 3/11/2022
FFO: Ensiferum, Alestorm, Korpiklaani
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Merging the punk -influenced aggressiveness of crossover thrash with the Celtic melodies of folk metal, the 'peasant metal’ of Pillaging Villagers takes the listener on a journey to a medieval world of pitchfork-wielding rebellion where songs of victory and sorrow alike are belted out with tankards raised high. Whether described as ‘punk Ensiferum ’ or ‘thrash Dropkick Murphys ,’ Pillaging Villagers is a raucous, high-energy debut that rampages into the town square from its opening bars, burning & looting without respite throughout its tight 39 min runtime. A concept album composed entirely by vocalist David Frazer (pictured below), Pillaging Villagers features the session contributions of drummer Jason Hirt ( Ghost Bath ), guitarist Brian Koenig ( Lords of the Trident ) & bassist Adam Tucker ( A Scanner Darkly )!
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Check out the some of the reviews!
Angry Metal Guy : “4.0/5.0: Bands like Pillaging Villagers are the reason I write for this blog: first access to hidden gems, and the opportunity to hopefully provide them with a bit more exposure. This is the kind of record that screams ‘underground classic,’ a wholly distinct release that the people who connect with it deeply fucking jive with… You’ve gotta hear this thing for yourself."
Ghost Cult Magazine : “Mixing Crossover Thrash, Punk, and Celtic Melodies; Pillaging Villagers is unlike any band you have heard in 2022!”
Heavy Blog is Heavy : “Pillaging Villagers’ upcoming release is like getting slapped in the face or punched in the stomach by a chainmail swaddled, accordion wielding, beer-tankard chugging bard. What’s not to love?”
Metal Plague : "4.5/5.0: I honestly cannot recommend checking this album out enough. It’s going to have to be an uncommonly strong year for releases if I’m not talking about this one by the time I’m looking to compile my end-of-the-year lists."
The Independent Voice : “4.5/5.0: This album is an incredible piece of thrash metal. Tight as hell and fast as a speeding train. It deserves to be listened to and praised by every thrash fan on the planet!”
Metal Noise : "8.5/10: A high octane record packed with crossover thrash riffs, galloping drums & death metal vocals… earworm rhythmic gymnastics will keep you coming back time & time again… Embrace your destiny & raise a glass before burning and looting to this medieval soundtrack, you will not be disappointed.”
Metal1 (DE) : "8/10: Pillaging Villagers delight with a fresh genre mix and make a lot of fun with their debut album. Listening to 'Pillaging Villagers' feels a bit like standing between the stages at a big festival. Ensiferum plays on one stage, Dropkick Murphys on the next, and Alestorm on the next, while the liquor stand at the entrance blares Children Of Bodom. Only 'Pillaging Villagers' is not uncontrolled chaos, but chaos with sense and reason and a lot of fun."
Rock Queen Reviews : “10/10: Possibly the most exciting album in its genre I’ve heard so far this year. Just reels you right in and keeps you hooked for the entire ride. The most exquisitely energized, refreshing production, with an extraordinary contagion. Guaranteed satisfaction.”
Teeth of the Divine : "When was the last time you smiled from ear to ear while listening to a metal album? I mean a full-on, ear-to-ear grin, that you ‘felt’ in your soul? For me in early 2022, it’s every time I listen to Pillaging Villagers...go buy this fucker en masse so we can get a CD version."
Heavy Music HQ : "3.5/5: Pillaging Villagers is thrash with a message, one that values uprising against the elite class."
Metal Friends (ES) : "8.0/10: Bagpipes of war create a wonderful melody for a good mosh of peasants hungry for good food, better drink and a righteous revolution, which nourishes the furrows of the fields with the blue blood of the parasitic classes of the Old Regime. The choirs steal your common sense with suicidal joy. To the revolt!"
The Razor’s Edge : "39 minutes of burning and looting through your mind, leaving an indelible mark, as it’s going to be hard to remove this from your memory bank any time soon. From death metal growls to clean vocals, this album has something for everyone to enjoy and Pillaging Villagers will put a smile on people’s faces once again, just as music should do."
Flying Fiddlesticks : "Look for big singalong choruses and killer riffs around every corner. I haven’t heard anything else quite like this. The way the pieces are put together is fascinating. It is a unique accomplishment. Recommended."
The Dark Melody : “8.0/10: Conceptual work where Thrash Metal and Crossover are clearly mixed, reminding me of the best known and pioneering DRI, SUICIDAL TENDENCES, SOD, MUNICIPAL WASTE… mixing the fury/speed with melodic parts typical of hardcore, a perfect combination for the mosh pit.”
Hellibiter Metal Zone (MX) : “8/10: Pillaging Villagers presents an album with a formula you didn't expect to find but ends up leaving a great taste in your mouth, highly recommended material."
Noob Heavy : “Genuinely fun bands are getting harder and harder to come by nowadays, but luckily for us, we now exist in the same timeline as Pillaging Villagers. It’s a triumphant, bold-faced gut-punch to the system that sticks with you long after your initial listen.”
Saitenkult (DE) : “The thrashers from Milwaukee, Wisconsin beat the listener with a sledgehammer for almost 39 minutes.”
Abaddon Magazine : “A glorious success. A creative giant that was unleashed with much more than just a pitchfork at hand. How is it possible that no label has taken this under its wing? I’ve got a feeling they will fight tooth and nail for a future re-release.”
CultMetalFlix : “On March the eleventh (in this the year 2022) an album will issue forth from the depths of Wisconsin which is likely to cause quite the stir. A release which is far removed from the same old, same old. A collection of tunes which embraces the finest elements from a number of genres.”
Games, Brrraaains & a Headbanging Life : "The punkish fire, thrash heaviness and folkish melodies will startle. Especially as it’s anthem after anthem... a very unusual combination but one that certainly excites... Grab a beer, a loved one or even a stranger, raise your fist to the sky and sing along loudly."