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.

Links.

https://blazonrite.bandcamp.com/album/dulce-bellum-inexpertis-e-p

https://www.facebook.com/blazonriteofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/gatesofhellrecords/

http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/

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

Sölicitör, Spectral Devastation Review (Gates of Hell, 2020)

The new Sölicitör album is speed, full speed, all speed. The band’s first full-length set Spectral Devastation never slows down enough to take a deep breath.

Amy Lee Carlson (vocals), Matthew Vogan (guitar), Patrick Fry (guitar), Damon Cleary Erickson (bass), and Johann Waymire (drums) make up the band that leans toward speed and not thrash. The distinction might not be all that important in the grander scheme of things. Sölicitör is definitely metal, and they play really fast.

The vocal front of Amy Lee Carlson is a big voice with a menacing roar, and it puts me in mind of a cross between Noora Louhimo and Doro Pesch in some of the passages. Indeed some of the music on Spectral Devastation is reminiscent of Battle Beast now and then. Still, it is speed that best describes this band if we need to use a one-word label. Whenever there is a brief pause for quiet moment – or even an acoustic one – the music always cracks right back to breakneck rushes toward the end of the world.

“Blood Revelations” is the opener, and it shows you right out of the gate what road you’ve just turned onto. The guitars are like a charging cavalry and Carlson’s voice is an attack on your solitude. The first lead break comes in early with piercing surety, followed by steady rhythm and methodical march and shouts. Then the speed kicks in again, and a second big lead break. “Betrayer” keeps the pace up with a Judas Priest vibe and stomp. The music starts to make a turn on “The Red Queen” by taking the tone a little more clinical and technical and changing the theme medieval, conjuring images of thrones and dungeons. It is here you realize that it is not the blistering speed that will define this album after all, but it is instead the noticeable variegation across the set that marks the band’s unique voice. The passion and power does not wane throughout the album. The final two songs, “Spectres of War” and “Grip of the Fist,” are both big full-throated metal conclaves with solid fast driving spirits and lead peals. I cannot hear any low points on this album.

Sölicitör is easiest to find on Bandcamp (link below). The first two songs from Spectral Devastation are available now, and the full album drops April 24, 2020. You can also get their titular EP at Bandcamp if you want to prep for the new one.

Links.

https://www.facebook.com/solicitor.speedmetal/

https://solicitor-speedmetal.bandcamp.com/

http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/

Sölicitör, Spectral Devastation Review (Gates of Hell, 2020)