Released: 2008, Metal on Metal Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Originally San Diego, California based Skelator - known as 'poser-killing warriors' (ha!) as well, have finally gotten the treatment for a couple of their previous releases that they have deserved. The Italian label, Metal On Metal Records, snapped up the band and decided to put out sort of a ´best of´ compilation of Skelator.
The title of this ´best of´ compilation was chosen as TIME OF THE SWORD RULERS, which contains the re-mixed and re-mastered songs from the SWORDS EP (songs 1-5) and THE GORE OF WAR split EP (songs 6-9), added with 2 bonus tracks: "Save the Devil (from His Cage)" - never released before, recorded under the side project name Shredder, with Jason Conde-Houston and Jesse Jensen - and "She-Ra (You Will Be Mine)", which is a previously unreleased version from these poser-slaughtering heroes.
Those of you who have followed Skelator at least a little, know already that these fellows´ somewhat epic heavy/speed metal leans strongly on the sound of early times Manowar, Overkill, Iron Maiden, Liege Lord, Helstar and so on - just to mention these if comparisons are needed. Musically, the words ´true´ and ´old-school´ can be tagged all over the band´s concept to slay all posers of this world. Skelator has got stuck to all their 80s´ most used clichés so tightly that one cannot actually be sure whether to laugh at it, or take it seriously. Both options are obviously good, and in my opinion they are really lots of fun to listen to. One thing is for sure: These fellows have done their home lessons really well and loyally regarding the 80´s traditional heavy/speed metal - and I can appreciate all their efforts with it. Take for example a song called "The Coming of Chaos". You really cannot say these guys have never heard the early Maiden albums. Or what about a song titled "Heavy Metal Sacrifice". The song just sounds both bluesy and wicked at the same time. If this ain´t any Venom and Motörhead worship, then nothing is.
However, I was most pleased to hear Skelator doing such songs as the over 15-minutes long "The Wrath of Odin´s Sons", in which they combine Maiden´s and Manowar´s epicness and pomp with some furious black metal grimness - and then an instrumental tune "In Metal We Trust" - with a drum solo and everything, that basically sums up perfectly what Skelator is all about, and what things they are ready to fight for: To keep metal clean and pure from all the posers, as amusing and cliché this may sound like.
Skelator is anyway good entertainment for your money, if you can just be a little open-minded for them, and accept their macho type of chest-pounding without taking it too seriously. Their metal is made of pure ´80s worship, so it´s also very hard to ignore them entirely. Not amazing, but still very good stuff in here.