It was another banner year for the American record label, Stormspell Records so I’ve decided to do a quick round-up of what this respected True Metal label was up to in 2017. I’m reviewing the following ten bands in this feature.
Feel free to check out all the reviews. If you are like me, if you like one of these albums on this consistent and focused theme label you’ll probably like ‘em all!
Writing reviews can be a tricky balance. Does the reviewer assume the reader has heard of and knows about the band, or does the writer assume they know nothing and over explain. It is especially hard with consistent, prolific bands like Blazon Stone. If you want more back-story, we have reviewed the last three albums here on Metal-Rules.com.
I’m going to assume that most readers will know that Blazon Stone is a proud flag bearer of the jolly roger and is the one, true and best Running wild tribute band on the high seas. They have returned to plunder your ears with their 5th release in five years, the full-length titled, DOWN IN THE DARK.
Blazon Stone has returned to pirate themes and imagery after a couple of albums based more in Napoleonic-era storytelling with NO SIGN OF GLORY in 2015 and WAR OF THE ROSES in 2016. Not surprisingly, Running Wild also took a similar detour in their career as well.
I’m a big fan of Blazon Stone, I have all their albums and for whatever reason, it’s hard to pin-point, I like DOWN IN THE DARK a bit better than the last two. The album highlight for me is easily ‘Merciless Pirate King’, with an uber-catchy chorus. Another highlight is the slow grinder, ‘Hanged, Drawn and Quartered’ with yet another, big, sing-along chorus. Damn, listening to anything on DOWN IN THE DARK is like I’m 19 again and listening to DEATH OR GLORY for the first time, it’s that good of a tribute…in tone, tempo, style and everything. It makes me want to take my cutlass and slash up some posers.
I can’t be sure but maybe the recent success of Blazon Stone inspired Running Wild to release their best album in a decade, RAPID FORAY back in 2016. Regardless, Blazon Stone is quickly building a catalogue that may one day ultimately match or surpass the band that inspired them.