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Blazon Rite – Endless Halls of Golden Totem

From Philadelphia in the US hails the quartet known as Blazon Rite. Carefully avoiding anything that was written after 1985, these four barbarians are deeply steeped into the burgeoning metal scene of the early eighties. After the likes of Angel Witch, Iron Maiden and Samson had kicked off the New Wave of British Heavy Metal over here in Europe, it also found resonance across the pond with the likes of Omen, Manilla Road and Legend to name but a few heroes from that bygone Hyborian age.

This strand of epic metal  has known something of a revival the last few years with the swordsmen and women of Visigoth, Smoulder, Megaton Sword and pardon the pun, championed by Eternal Champion. Newcomers Blazon Rite fall into that category of new wave of epic heavy metal. Coming onto the scene last year with their debut EP ‘Dulce Bellum Inexpertis’ they quickly made work of their first full length that has now just seen the breaking of dawn under the banner ‘Endless Halls of Golden Totem’.

When you are going back to these antediluvian times before the great  heavy metal cataclysm of the grunged nineties, you shouldn’t be too concerned with being innovative or groundbreaking. It’s rather about capturing the feeling of that primal age without sounding like a total ripoff of the classic bands. Totally in line with that strategy, Blazon Rites’ debut has not been produced at some fancy dandy studio, but quite literally in the basement of lead guitar player James Kirn. This has resulted in a surprisingly fairly decent recording that most importantly does not sound over polished or too modern.

The endless halls hold a total of eight golden totems for which Kirn himself has written most of the music and the lyrics. Johnny Halladay, not to be confused with the almost eponymous deceased French crooner Johnny Hallyday, takes those lyrics and spins from them fantastic yarns of sword and sorcery. The vocalist has also brought Pierson Roe along on bass and synth with whom he shares the traditional doom outfit Cullainns Hound. Halladay has also been steering away his vocals from a more doom oriented Marcolin style on the EP to a more Mark Shelton inspired roar. Roe‘s synth lines add an understated, but well balanced aspect to these songs, which speaks volumes of well this DIY production is actually handled. The lineup is rounded off with Ryan Haley on drums.

It does take a couple of spins to fully appreciate this album. Perhaps my internal psyche just needed some time to adjust to this backward galloping across the steppes of time, but once it does these belligerent battle hymns will stick into your skull like a well-swung battle axe.

Release Date: May 28  2021
Label: Gates of Hell Records
Tracklist:

  1. Legends of Time and Eidolon
  2. Put Down Your Sword (Only for the Night)
  3. The Executioner’s Woe
  4. Endless Halls of Golden Totem
  5. Alchemist’s Brute
  6. The Night Watchmen of Starfall Tower
  7. Consumed by Glory Light
  8. Into Shores of Blood

Reviews

  • Music9
  • Vocals/Lyrics9
  • Production8
  • Artwork8
  • Originality7
  • 8.2

    Score

    Sword and sorcery battle hyms with a blatant disregard for anything that was made after 1985 which get better on each consecutive listen.



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