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Blazon Stone - Hymns of Triumph and Death

Blazon Stone
Hymns of Triumph and Death
by Rachel Montgomery at 17 June 2019, 10:23 PM

BLAZON STONE sounds like your run-of-the-mill Pirate Metal. For the Swedish metal group’s fifth album, the songs are all good, fist-pumping sea shanties that would be fun to hear at a concert. However, as an album, I thought the songs ran into one another after a while, although the songs were all good-natured, Heavy Metal fun.

The intro is promising, with clean, crisp guitars and pounding drums leading up to the meat of the album. This short instrumental lets us know the genre and provides a nice sample of their instrumental capabilities.

Heart of Stone” is the first full song on the album and it’s promising. I like the gravelly vocals because other than the creaky quality, I can tell he’s on key and has a good knowledge of his range and command of his voice. It also gives the song all the more pirate quality. Overall, it would be a fun concert song.

Dance of the Dead” is faster than the last track, with a thrash quality featuring some good sweeps. The next song, “Iron Fist of Rock”, is a steadier, fist-pumping track. At this point, I enjoy how they keep the songs around the same tempo but mix the styles, so the songs don’t all sound the same. Each track has its own flavor in a niche genre and that’s impressive. However, there’s some 80s elements, such as wah-wah guitars, that could have been toned down or left out.

Hellbound for the Ocean”, however, is the last standout song and the closest thing to a slow song that the band has on this album. This is a good ballad-like song that would also be a lot of fun at a concert. The rest kind of sound like each other.

The next three songs, “Blood of the Fallen”, “Checking the Reaper” and “Slaves and Masters”, are all fist-pumping, good times, but have a similar tempo and the same elements: anthemic beats and thrashing guitars. I enjoyed the chorus on “Slaves and Masters” and of the three, it’s my favorite song due to its standout chorus.

I also enjoyed the next track, “Wavebreakers”, because it didn’t utilize the wah-wah guitars as much (they kick in high gear in the solo though). The vocals are more restrained, and it sounds like a gritty pirate song more so than the rest; don’t get me wrong, the others are clearly pirate. This one mostly leaves the 80s cheese at the door, with the exception of the high-pitched guitar solo.

I loved the soaring melodies in “Ride High”. It had some great thematic elements and the solo started with less wah-wah guitars, but was still good once they kicked in. Despite all the complaining I do about the overused 80s elements, this was one of my favorite songs due to the strong concepts.

The last two songs, “Howell’s Victory” and “Wild Horde” were good, but not standouts compared to the rest of the album. Overall, this album is packed with fast, fun songs that could be blasted at any Buccaneer Weekend festival or rocked out to at a concert. However, the songs started to sound the same after a while. If you’re into 45 minutes of straight pirate rock, this is for you. If not, consider listening to the tracks in a mix, because they’re still a fun time.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Triumph and Death
2. Heart of Stone
3. Dance of the Dead
4. Iron Fist of Rock
5. Hellbound for the Ocean
6. Blood of the Fallen
7. Checking the Reaper
8. Slaves and Masters
9. Wavebreakers
10. Ride High
11. Howell’s Victory
12. Wild Horde
Lineup:
Cederick Forsberg – Bass, Guitars, Drums
Jan Powel – Keyboards
Emil Westin Skogh – Guitars
Erik Forsberg – Vocals
Record Label: Stormspell Records
     


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