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(Album Review) BLAZON RITE - Endless Halls of Golden Totem

Release date: June 18, 2021, Gates of Hell Records

Written by Jeff Tighe

This is the full length debut for Blazon Rite, the band having only one EP under their belts previously. Endless Halls of Golden Totem is an 8 song, 38 minute traditional metal effort from these Yanks. The first thing that strikes the listener is the clean, but odd, vocals of Johnny Halladay. They sometimes feel like a cross between Jim Morrison and Ian Astbury, with a little Pile Driver (from Canuck band Piledriver) thrown in. At first, this reviewer wasn't sure if the mic work was endearing or irritating, but after a few songs the judgment was ultimately in the positive.

The guitar work by main composer James Kirn is top notch, especially in the riffing being catchy. Opener "Legends of Time and Eidolon" sounds a bit like Spinal Tap, but that is meant as a compliment. Perhaps the highlights of the album are the speedy tracks "Executioner's Woe" and "Alchemist's Brute". But every song has something to like on this album. "Put Down Your Steel (only for the Night)" sounds almost Manowar inspired.

On the negative side, "The Nightwatchmen of Starfall Tower" is a bit too plodding for the most part, although there is a very good guitar solo in the middle during which the pace picks up. Overall this is a solid album for those readers who find themselves reaching for traditional metal on a regular basis. (7)


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