Reviewed: December, 2020
Released: 2020, StormSpell Records
For the working class Metal artist, content is king. Only the biggest bands and artists can survive on past glories and take several years between albums. Cederick Forsberg does not have that luxury. When the global pandemic hit and many plans for many bands were ruined, or at very least postponed, some people, like Forsberg, used the downtime as an opportunity to keep creating content. The same scenario applies to record labels. They need new material to release as well to stay viable so releasing re-issues and re-recordings is not ideal but better than the alternative.
The mastermind behind several bands (Breitenhold, Cloven Altar, Runelord, Rocka Rollas) took the chance to rework a couple of his older albums and we are going to have a quick look at them. Generally we don’t review to many reissues and re-recorded albums but we do like to support StormSpell Records and Forsberg as an all-round Metal dude.
I reviewed RETURN TO PORT ROYAL seven years ago when it came out. You can read my original review here. www.metal-rules.com/2014/07/01/blazon-stone-return-to-port-royal/
This pressing is billed as the ‘Definitive Edition’ which sounds classy enough. The cover art is slightly different and the logo is very slightly reworked as well. This was reissued not all that long go in 2016 with a bonus track called ‘Beasts Of War’. That track is on this version as well as two more bonus tracks, bringing the total to 12 tracks for a runtime of just over an hour. We get a live version of ‘Stand Your Line’ and a very decent and faithful cover of Running Wild’s ‘Black Wings Of Death’ from the PILE OF SKULLS album.
Forsberg re-recorded everything and tweaked the vocals as well. I’ll fully admit I don’t worry too much about the production of an album. I actually got out my original physical copy of RETURN TO PORT ROYAL and compared it to the Definitive Edition’ on the same speakers, and to be honest I didn’t notice a huge difference. There was nothing wrong with the original to my ears. However, audiophiles who have a more sophisticated ear may notice some changes. It is common for an artist to be unsatisfied with a recording and often they look back and wish they could have dome something different at the time but often time constraints or money prevent the full realization of that vision.
I gave the debut an almost perfect score seven years ago and nothing has changed except now you get three more songs! If you missed the pirate ship on the first or second voyages, now you can RETURN TO PORT ROYAL but beware, this pressing is limited to 500 copies so plunder yours today!
1. Black Chest Inn (intro)
2. Return to Port Royal
3. Stand Your Line
4. Armistad Rebellion
5. High Treason
6. Curse of the Ghost Ship
7. Beasts of War
9. Wind in the Sails
10. The Tale of Vasa
11. Stand Your Line (live)
12. Black Wings Of Death
Ced Forsberg-Bass, Guitars, Drums