CD review ETERNAL CHAMPION ‘Ravening Iron’

No Remorse Records shows again their good sense for stellar heavy metal bands. Eternal Champion inked a deal with the label a few years ago, with a first split album, having been released in 2015. The debut ‘The Armor of Ire’ followed a year later and now the time is right for bringing some more epic metal to the world.

‘Ravening Iron’ is the sophomore album of the Austin, Texas based band. Jason Tarpey, Arthur Rizk, John Powers and Brad Raub crafted eight new songs, being the base for the Eternal Champion’s newest strike.

The metallic sound of the hammer hitting the anvil is what starts the engine of ‘Ravening Iron’ before the actual song takes over. Eternal Champion’s start into the album is a furious one, driven by screaming guitars and heavily pounding rhythm. Headbanging starts right away, if you want it or not.

‘Skullseeker’ is kept at a slower pace, equipped with a mighty riff and vocals by Tarpey that perfectly fit to this kind of music. ‘Coward’s Keep’ is another good example for well-crafted epic metal with a wow-factor. ‘Worms of the Earth’ reflects a shift of gears before ‘The Godblade’, an atmospheric instrumental, introduces the closer. ‘Banner of Arhai’ picks up the atmospheric expression of ‘The Godblade’ and transports it into world of slo-mo metal that builds up to a pounding metal anthem along the way. No doubt, ending an album with such a song is a good choice.

Although the artwork is often the first thing you see from a new album, it is always the music that counts. Now, in this case I would like to spend a few words on the artwork since it is done by someone who really can translate metal into art – Ken Kelly. Kelly already created the cover artwork for Kiss’ ‘Destoyer’ album as well as he did ‘Kings of Metal’ (Manowar) and ‘the iconic ‘Rising’ for Rainbow. Also this time he managed in good fashion to translate music into the context of artwork, rounding off a solid metal package.

Fans of epic metal should certainly check out this longplayer. If your collection contains a lot of Manilla Road and Cirith Ungol, you should also considers this album as one, getting on your shopping list. The underground is alive and Eternal Champion provides the heartbeat.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. A Face in the Glare
  2. Ravening Iron
  3. Skullseeker
  4. War at the Edge of the End
  5. Coward’s Keep
  6. Worms of the Earth
  7. The Godblade
  8. Banners of Arhai

Label: No Remorse Records

Genre: Epic Metal

Release Date EU: November 20th, 2020

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