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Eternal Champion
The Armour Of Ire
November 2016
Released: 2016, No Remorse
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

There has been an enormous amount of talk in the underground about this new band. Somehow, I ended up a copy of their cassette demo and all the cool kids in town are talking about them so not wanting to be left out, I bought the album. Well, actually that is only partly true. A writer, our very own Carlos is in the band so from early on we have been watching from a distance wishing him success. It seems like the hard work has paid off with the release of their debut album THE ARMOUR OF IRE.

Based on the aforementioned buzz the Texas quintet has signed to Greece’s No Remorse Records. The CD itself looks professional, a nice, simple booklet with an explanatory essay, lyrics, a map (!) and it is adorned with a classic pulp-fiction album cover, depicting a mighty barbarian holding his sword high. The lyrics are stuff of legend drawing inspiration from Moorcock, Howard, Lovecraft and just generally cool stuff.

There is a difference between ‘High Fantasy’ and the gritty realism of pulp fiction and fantasy. The band is certainly part of a larger movement of bands in the latter category; bands such as Summerlands, Visigoth and every band on Metal Massacre 14! More specifically it is an early USPM sound, (ie. old Manowar) infused with hints of traditional doom European (ie. Candlemass). It is a really pure strain of Metal and it is pretty hot right now. THE ARMOUR OF IRE runs a bit short at eight songs, two of which are instrumentals (‘Blood Ice’ and ‘Shade Gate’) both of which are slow droning pieces. They could either be described as filler but as a more generous reviewer I describe them as effective and atmospheric. I would have kept both the instrumentals and added one more cut, as it stands, the actual songs total 30 minutes.

The guitar tone is very entrenched in the 80’s as is the heavily echoed vocal style, the vocals hanging way back in the mix but the voice of Jason Tarpey is very strong for this style. His delivery is clear and he sings with authority but never getting too frantic or screamy. The overall tempo is a bit ponderous, it never really gets too fast but when it does like on the song ‘The Cold Sword’ it is like a relentless juggernaut. The songs are traditional in structure, good riffs, lots of space, they don’t overplay for the sake of overplaying. This simplicity may add a nice degree of that hard to articulate phenomena of ‘heaviness’. I grew up listening to the first wave of this stuff so I’m very welcoming to a new band in this style.

Eternal Champion are firmly ensconced in the second wave of this type of Metal created by a brave new generation of Metal warriors who grew up listening to their dads old Manilla Road vinyl and Warlord cassettes. In my opinion with the release of THE ARMOUR OF IRE they are champions in the welcome global explosion of this style of Metal.
Track Listing

1. I Am the Hammer
2. The Armor of Ire
3. The Last King of Pictdom
4. Blood Ice
5. The Cold Sword
6. Invoker
7. Sing a Last Song of Valdese
8. Shade Gate


Jason Tarpey Vocals
Carlos Llanas Guitar
Blake "Rossover" Ibanez Guitar
Nuon Powers Guitar
Arthur Rizk Drums, Bass, Keyboards



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