Blazon Rite, Endless Halls Of Golden Totem (Gates Of Hell Records 2021)

Philadelphia metal molders Blazon Rite keep the campaign going with their new long-player, Endless Halls Of Golden Totem.

Last year’s EP Dulce Bellum Inexpertis was filled with portents and promise. It showed an approach to Epic Metal that was solid and expansive, a wall of sound built to the top. The new album not only continues the ideas signaled in the earlier work but also expands on them. Blazon Rite is James Kirn (guitar), Johnny Halladay (vocals), Pierson Roe (bass, synth, and guitar), Kay Hamacher (guitar), and Ryan Haley (drums).

There are eight tracks on the new album, and they display a greater narrative variety compared to the earlier release because Endless Halls Of Golden Totem is not a themed album. “Legends of Time and Eidolon” starts the boulder rolling with a commanding guitar riff that is quickly surrounded by the rhythm section and a synth line. Johnny Halladay’s voice rises, sounding like a traveling mage delivering the harrowing tale from village to village. The lead guitar skips in trippingly with bright colors highlighting the deepening story and completing it.

Every song on the album is constructed with the same thoughtful complexity and earnest roundedness. The styles vary from one to the next offering a rich listening environment. The music has roots in classic metal while pushing grand stories and power metal appreciations. The opening bars of “Put Down Your Steel” reminded me a little of Judas Priest but the rest of the song didn’t. “The Executioner’s Woe” made me instantly – and only for an instant – remember Rainbow’s Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll before moving off in other directions.

The title track alternates between power metal pronouncements and quieter moments while “Alchemist’s Brute” offers a light-hearted eeriness. The final song is “Into Shores Of Blood” and it is somber and sorrowful to begin with but turns up the tension and volume after a couple minutes to deliver a colossal sound. Blazon Rite made a good decision to create this kind of album in all its variety that nevertheless preserves in each song the band’s core principles. Recommended.

Endless Halls Of Golden Totem is out from Gates Of Hell Records this Friday, June 18th, in digital, CD, and vinyl forms.




Gates of Hell Records,

Review of Dulce Bellum Inexpertis,

Blazon Rite, Endless Halls Of Golden Totem (Gates Of Hell Records 2021)

Blazon Rite, Dulce Bellum Inexpertis review (Gates of Hell Records 2020)

Philadelphia metalheads Blazon Rite take a big swing with their debut release, Dulce Bellum Inexpertis.

The band carries with them the spirit of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal from the early 1980s in the themes and general sound of their fantasy-based creation. Pierson Roe (bass, keys), Ryan Haley (drums), James Kirn (guitars), and Johnny Halladay (vocals) breathe new life into familiar lines, introducing young fans to what has been solidly established as fundamentally appealing – and bring knowing nods of affirmation from those who have been around a little longer and recognize the sound.

There are four songs on the EP, adding up to a little over twenty minutes of music. “The Warriors Choice” gets things going with beautiful organ notes and layers, giving you a minute or so to gather yourself up for the metal. When the guitars start, you can hear the campaign immediately, the marching army. “Diamond Draggyr” has another quiet start, then kicks in at frantic pace with an homage to Dio on “Neon Knights.” “Into the Expanse” has a more formal and complex musical construction and a blistering lead break. “Udug Hul” begins like an English folk song then drops a heavy riff right on your head, speeding into an all-out assault. The band packs a lot into these four songs.

Blazon Rite is making the most of their initial release. The digital version of Dulce Bellum Inexpertis came out through Bandcamp in March this year, followed by a cassette in April. It was a hit, and drew enough attention to make to make additional releases possible. Alone Records (Greece) published a CD version a couple days ago, and the vinyl comes out from Gates of Hell Records this Friday, September, 25. If you like old school heavy metal, you are going to like this. Recommended.


Blazon Rite, Dulce Bellum Inexpertis review (Gates of Hell Records 2020)