Here we have one of the most hotly anticipated debut in underground metal field for this year, and I can say at the very beginning that it has met the vast expectations of people all around the metal globe! I must admit at the very beginning that I have heard the name Eternal Champion through the grapevine, people praising their 2013’s demo The Last King of Pictdom and 2015’s split with Gatekeeper, but I haven’t heard their music. Announcement for their debut album came in really handy so I was ready to finally find out is this band really that good when the release drops. Now, The Armor Of Ire is finally in front of me and I think that it truly is worth of praise. The name of the band is taken from Michael Moorcock’s epic fantasy series so it can get you pretty good impression what the band is about. Seriously, take a look at that cover art – if that alone does not make you hungry for this album you are lost cause for metal. When it comes to music, Eternal Champion of course play true heavy metal filled to the brim with epic mighty atmosphere from bygone eras; seriously nothing contemporary here, just metal that breathes eternal values and sound timeless. The first song I am the Hammer will forge the Eternal Champion’s iron will into your brain straight away – it is really one of the best songs I have heard this year and one just cannot sit still while listening to it. The rest of the material does not fall under this level too much and it should be said here that The Armor Of Ire is 35 minutes long which is in my opinion just great for this kind of music. What bothers me is the fact that 2 out of 8 songs are instrumentals, Shade Gate and Blood Ice may would have been better if we had more real songs at hand but in this way The Armor Of Ire just feels a bit short and leaves me yearning for more. I think that this should be taken care of more appropriately. If I need to drop some names, I would mention standard bearers of this kind of metal like Cirith Ungol, Omen, Manilla Road and even 80’s Sanctuary like in song Invoker. There are even some clever usage of keyboard like in the title track, and the story is led by commanding voice of Jason Tarpey (I could use more high pitched screams here and there but he makes up for that with his spirited performance). All in all, here we have one very interesting and good album which makes Eternal Champion strong name on the scene from the beginning and what is the best – I feel that the best things from the band are just about to come in the future.
- No Remorse Records CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan (8)