Receiver – Whispers of Lore Review

Despite Iron Maiden being my entry point into metal, NWoBHM has never really been a mainstay in my catalog. Maybe it’s because so few bands could live up to my first flame. Maybe it’s because after my Maiden voyage, I dropped right into the rapids of melodic death metal and it took a while before I rediscovered the appeal of not having harsh vocals. Whatever the case, traditional metal frequently languished on my personal side-line, and it doesn’t deserve that. Perhaps I can make some amends shining a little spotlight on Receiver, a new band with an old sound, hailing from the ever-contested island of Cyprus. With Whispers of Lore the 5-piece skips right over the whole concept of demos and EPs, kicking off their discography with the label-backed full-length debut most fledgling bands can only dream of.

And apparently, Gates of Hell has an ear for quality, because Whispers of Lore is a rock-solid record that sounds straight out of 1980. The dual guitar is out in full force, whether it’s classic Maiden-style galloping triplets replete with Harris-style bass (“Starchaser”) or melodic layered solos. The androgynous vocals of Nikoletta Kyprianou take some getting used to at first, sounding slightly reedy, but I was sold by the fine, fragile vibrato carrying a sense of underdog heroism, the kind where ordinary folk rise to the challenge because it’s the right thing to do. Here and there a slightly more Judas Priest style of blue-collar heavy metal creeps in, notably on early highlight “Trespasser” which inputs more chugs and has Kyprianou adding a bit of smoky bite to her performance.

Whispers of Lore by Receiver

While this all sounds fairly basic, because it is and unabashedly so, it’s the fun hooks and the spirited DIY enthusiasm that makes it all work. Everything about Whispers of Lore screams passion for the craft, even its use of well-worn tropes that nonetheless sound fresh through Receiver’s zeal. Initially, it does seem to miss that one killer track to elevate the album as a whole, but then “Arrow” hits, an epic sea shanty played in swing with a perfect refrain you just want to belt out while waving a fist left to right. It’s a more successful implementation of group vocals than predecessor “Raiders of the Night,” which is a killer tune brought down by too much repetition around chorus time, or the middling bonus track “Prowess and Decay” that tries and fails to implement a bit of Black Sabbath creepiness. Cutting this and perhaps shaving a little bit off the longer tracks that aren’t “Arrow” might have tightened Whispers up, though it is by no means overlong.

I can’t levy any criticism on the production, though. Charmingly old-school and disarming in its directness, I’d be surprised if this wasn’t recorded live in studio. The master eschews heaviness for heaviness’ sake, instead opting for a light and lithe palette that reminds me more of High Spirits than Maiden or Priest. For instance, the lively bass gives more twang than oomph, a supple complement to the twin guitars as opposed to a nondescript foundational layer. But it’s the drums that draw my attention the most, their textures crisp and spry, sounding uncommonly unpolished in the best way. It highlights how much Yiannis Xanthou’s loose and dynamic style brings to the band, playing with bouncy rhythms and quick fills on a kit that sounds small enough to load onto the back of a Vespa.

With a garage attitude and lots of love for the classics, Receiver is a textbook example of doing a lot with a little. Though Whispers of Lore doesn’t contain anything structurally new, the light-hearted textures, distinctive vocals, and solid, unpretentious songwriting make for a deceptively standout record. It’ll be a difficult achievement for the young band to repeat without diminishing returns, as leaning too much on the genre’s 50-year history becomes increasingly dangerous, but I will root for Receiver to continue forging its own path, the start of which is very promising indeed.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Gates of Hell Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: November 10th, 2023

The post Receiver – Whispers of Lore Review appeared first on Angry Metal Guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post ‘Modern Warfare 3’ players call for removal of “invisibility cloak” Gaia skin
Next post Listen to Basement Jaxx and 100 Gecs team up for ‘Where’s Your Head At’ remix

Goto Top