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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Goatsnake and Blazon Rite

Once again we mine the underground to review some short-form releases ...

Up first we have L.A.-based veterans Goatsnake,who've been in the doom business since 1998, with a new two-sided single. Containing Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) and Greg Rogers ex-drummer for The Obsessed, it's no surprise that this release proves to be of high caliber, both in production and song quality. Side A's "Breakfast With The King" is a sturdy and ultra-catchy headbanger, heavy of riff and up-tempoed, perfect for those who worship at the altar of Tony Iommi. Meanwhile, the other side's "Deathwish" mines the tried-and-true Cathedral chugging-doom formula, again getting the ol' neck moving. Top notch trad doom! (8)

Next up, out of Philadelphia something in the epic metal vein comes in the form of the debut EP from Blazon Rite, Dulce Bellum Inexpertis. Containing four tracks clocking in at over twenty-one minutes, this could also be described as epic prog given its predilection for quick changing riffs and tempos, leaving the listener unclear as to what will be thrown at them next. One minute the band pounds its chest in best Manowar form, the next they visit NWOBHM territitory, before trotting out some clean-lined Accept/Priest-style riffage or acoustic guitar interludes. The only rule is no rules here. That said, it's done remarkably well, coalescing into a fun release for adventurous trad metallers. (7.5)

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