BLAZON RITE "Wild Rites and Ancient Songs"
By Dr. Abner Mality
This is the kind of heavy metal to hear in a medieval mead hall after a hard day of jousting and quarterstaffs on the lists. Owing a lot to such epic legends as MANILLA ROAD, ATTACKER, OMEN and the eldest FATES WARNING, BLAZON RITE play a classic style of medieval metal with melody.
Some cool song titles show these guys put some thought into their songwriting..."Autumn Fear Brings Winter Doom" is a great song name and the song itself fortunately follows through with plenty of lusty gallop and enough twin lead to to impress MAIDEN and LIZZY fans. The singer Johnny Halladay has a very theatrical and "fruity" sound that is mostly in the lower range...no high falsetto screams from these guys. He puts those vocals in service of some good story-telling lyrics. "Salvage What You Can Of The Night" is another sharp song title and maybe even a better track than the opener...lots of OMEN vibes from this one.
"The Fall Of A Once Great House" sees BLAZON RITE try their hand at a slow burning ballad that starts very moodily but eventually builds to a speedy resolution. It is nothing that has not been heard in this musical style , but it pays faithful tribute to what has gone before. The remainder of the album gallops along with pluck and grit and ends with a metalized Christmas ode "The Coming Tide of Yule" which avoids the sappiness it could have fallen prey to and hits with some speed and power. It brings this satisfying exercise in classic American power metal in 80's Metal Blade fashion to a good conclusion.