What happens when you take 80’s Accept, early Opeth, and stick them in a blender powered entirely by force of will? You get Medevil and their sophomore album, Conductor of Storms.
The comparison to Accept is so easy that I researched a bit just to make sure Medevil isn’t some oddball side project of Udo, as the vocals are remarkably similar. The singer packs an arsenal of inflictions and barks that create tracks that would slide in perfectly with Russian Roulette. The rest of the band stays in line with the Accept influences, by hitting hard and fast while keeping a mostly upbeat tone. The performance is strong enough to get heads banging, proving that Medevil are not just some 80’s wannabes, as they’ve got some more tricks up their leather-clad sleeves.
The band shakes it up when they lose the speed and switch over to more dark and sinister tones. A heavy bass line drives the music forward and sharp pops of percussion spark along the riffs. These slower sections also include hollowed-out guitar, low-crooning from the singer, and some cheesy rain-falling sound effects. The variety, while welcome, is not always well-executed and prematurely ended a few sessions of rocking out; demonstrating that variety for variety’s sake is a poor decision.
Conductor of Storms is a solid effort that sacrifices originality for the quality of the music. There are a few missteps in the construction of the album with the uncalled for mood breaks, but these are outweighed by the musical chops that Medevil display. If you desperately miss Udo as frontman of Accept, this one is definitely worth a spin.