SKELATOR “Blood Empire” EP
By Dr. Abner Mality
Today is a good day to thrash for these Klingon warriors from the colony of Seattle. They have decided to tell the story of Kahless via heavy metal on “Blood Empire” and as I’m something of a Trek aficionado myself, I support their quest. They do themselves no favors with the frankly awful cover art here, which would make the legendary warrior hang his head in shame. But the music is a different story.
SKELATOR’s music is described as thrash, but I see it as more like very fast and heavy power metal. Not the fruity Euro stuff, thankfully, but more in the vein of ATTACKER, OMEN and HELSTAR. They give their tunes an epic side befitting the subject matter and “Deeds of Honor” and “The First Empire” capture a larger than life, sword-and-starship vibe with plenty of melody mixed into the headbanging metal. The super high pitched and nasal vocals of Jason Conde-Houston take some getting used to, but if you can take classic stuff like AGENT STEEL and ATTACKER, you should have no problem with it. There’s some elegant twin guitar harmony stuff injected into the songs, which do tend to be quite fast but not out of control thrashing.
This EP flies by like a Bird of Prey and if you’re a fan of the great American power metal of the 80’s, “Blood Empire” is a no-brainer. The band has put out five full lengths and tons of splits so they are in it for the long haul and they haven’t compromised an inch. Qapla!!