Album Review: Pillaging Villagers – S/T (Crossover Thrash)

Written by Zax

  • Pillaging Villagers S/T
  • Crossover Thrash/Folk Metal from the U.S.
  • Releasing independently on March 11th

I love it when I can have a good time with an extreme metal record. 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.

Pillaging Villagers is a solo project out of the U.S., and their debut album drops on March 11th! So, this guy makes a mixture of crossover thrash and folk metal. Weird, right? Sounds… messy on paper, but the end result is actually really badass.

From the jump, this record is jam-packed with energy, mostly due to the rapid fire, punky percussion and sharp thrash metal riffs. This thing is produced amazingly, all the instruments sound top notch. That kick drum in particular sounds perfect in this mix. Tons of firepower behind the performance; it’s infectious, headbanging fun. To my knowledge, there’s no actual folk instrumentation here, but they use these very Celtic sounding synths throughout that, despite being a little campy, are very catchy.

Thrash metal and folk metal are generally pretty hit and miss as far as vocals go, but the vocals on this record are stellar! I love the death metal adjacent growls, and the cleaner vocals found here and there. I almost wish they’d leaned into the cleans even harder, because they really make the tracks they’re included on pop.

This album also contains strong working class themes, specifically on the opening track and the amazing “Smash The Factory.” The talks of unity in the face of capitalist oppression thoroughly resonate. It’s a triumphant, bold-faced gut-punch to the system that sticks with you long after your initial listen.

I see this record growing on me a ton with repeated listens, this was such a blast. I’m hoping we’ll get some physicals for this soon. You don’t want to miss this.