(8/10) Jacksonville, Florida is the homebase of Artizan, a US metal powerhouse that has its fourth longplayer in the pipeline. ‘Demon Rider’ follows the 2015 release ‘The Furthest Reaches’ and features, in the standard version, 5 songs. A limited version includes, next to the 5 songs, the title track with no less than Jag Panzer’s Harry Conklin doing the vocals. Furthermore it’s two live recordings and instrumental versions of the five album tracks that all together end up with an 80 minutes running time.
Artizan’s newest album starts with the title track. The intro, with the spoken words, reminds of Metal Church and what follows is a powerful metal track with some well done hooks in the chorus. ‘The Hangman’ is next and spreads a darker vibe with many twists in the moderate paced song, being true anchor point on this album.
A real metal hymn is what you get with ‘The Endless Odyssey’, which proves that ‘oldschool’ doesn’t equal ‘outdated’. All these songs build up excitement, leading to the great final chapter of this metal release. ‘When Darkness Falls’ is a dramatic ten minutes closure that slowly builds up to a progressive US metal highlight. All Artizan stands for is embedded in this highlight – screaming guitars, a massive rhythms section and perfectly done vocals.
‘Demon Rider’ is a metallic power pack with songs that are written and recorded with passion and dedication. The fact that the band could gain Harry Conklin for doing the vocals for an alternative version of the title tracks means a lot and what benefits the album even more is the solid groove of the album, added by Fates Warning / Armored Saint bass player Joey Vera.
1. Demon Rider
2. The Hangman
3. Soldiers of Light
4. The Endless Odyssey
5. When Darkness Falls
6. Demon Rider (feat. Harry Conklin, Bonustrack)
7. Hopeful Eyes (Live)
8. I Am The Storm (Live)
Label: Pure Steel Records
Genre: US Metal
Release Date EU: August 17th, 2018