Methusalem – Unite And Conquer


First impressions can be deceiving, as Methusalem are a metal band from the Netherlands that formed at the turn of the millennium. The members had previously been involved in death and gothic metal bands, yet decided on a radical move into eighties metal (at a time when it wasn’t fashionable). Notably, they supported Blaze Bayley on his 2005 European tour. They have released a self-titled promo EP (2004), the mini-album ‘Sentenced To Rock’ (2005) and the full length ‘Unite And Conquer’ (2010).

Their sound embraces the NWOBHM style whilst also adding more recent influences. They stated that they “threw overboard all biases about how heavy metal should sound and listened very carefully to what producer Arno Krabman from Graveland Studios had to say”. The album was professionally mastered by  Darius van Helfteren, who had also previously worked with Judas Priest and the Scorpions. The cover art was done by the Finnish graphic designer, Jan Yrlund.

Refreshingly, they open with twin guitar riffs and allow the song to build for the unabashed chorus of ‘Hard Rock Showdown’. There is another hard rocker before they pummel into ‘Forever’ with Harold de Vries soaring vocals and a wall of guitars. In contrast ‘Brothers In Arms’ is a ballad with gently strummed guitar and punchy lyrics. “Fight for honour far away, fight for those you’ve left behind / Fight for all humanity, fight to clarify the blind / Take a bullet for a friend, give your life to save another / Maybe, even, in the end, those you fight could be your brothers”.

‘Running In Circles’ raises the tempo with intense riffing, whilst ‘Get Ready To Rock’ is reminiscent of  eighties heavy metal at its finest. They have a strong closing track in ‘Unite And Conquer’. It starts out melodic before cascading torrents of guitar and driving bass swaggers in “Stand together and unite / On our own we’ll never win this fight / Grab our hand, unite! / Unite and conquer the day and night”.

The craftsmanship of the musicians and the superb sound quality means that I can heartily recommend this to fans of classic hard rock and traditional heavy metal.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

1. Hardrock Showdown
2. Go All The Way
3. Forever
4. Brothers In Arms
5. Running In Circles
6. Get Ready To Rock
7. Thunder
8. Lock & Load
9. Unite And Conquer

Harold de Vries (vocals)
Jan Veenstra (guitar & backing vocals)
Dennis Hoekstra (guitar & backing vocals)
Wilco van der Meij (bass)
Jort Visser (drums)

Record Label: Self-released, 2010

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