Published on November 27th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Eternal Champion: The Armor of Ire
Texas-based traditional heavy metal band Eternal Champion has released their eagerly anticipated full-length debut, titled The Armor of Ire, on the No Remorse label. The band has a couple of limited run singles under their (bullet) belts, but this is the first time we get a proper dose of Eternal Champion material.
Eternal Champion fits easily into the whole New Wave of Traditional Metal category, but this isn’t just another bunch of kids playing thrash riffs and singing about how made of steel they are. Eternal Champion’s influences go deeper than Priest and Maiden, and their music has a depth a lot of these newer bands lack. Think equal parts Manilla Road and Michael Moorcock. Some of you dorks probably guessed that just based on the band’s name. The Armor of Ire is based on not just legendary fantasy stories, but on a new saga crafted by singer Jason Tarpey. This is very epic metal.
Beyond Manilla Road, I get a big Warlord vibe from this album. It’s that combination of “cannons of destruction” heaviness, bold melodies and a completely epic vocal/lyrical approach. Songs like “The Armor of Ire,” “The Last King of Pictdom” and “The Cold Sword” perfectly convey the album’s powerful sound, and the stomping, anthemic “I Am the Hammer” could almost pass for a Grand Magus song.
If there’s a downside here, it’s that The Armor of Ire runs just 34 minutes, with five of those taken up by a pair of instrumental tracks. Another 3-4 songs would have made this album that much more satisfying. I have zero complaints with what we do get though.
The Armor of Ire is a strong contender for best traditional heavy metal album of 2016. Eternal Champion has more than lived up to the potential we saw on their earlier material, and has delivered an album that will satisfy fans of the classic epic metal bands like Manilla Road, Warlord, Cirith Ungol and Broca’s Helm as well as the newer bands like Visigoth, Night Demon and Crescent Shield.
Summary: Epic old school metal doesn't get much better than this.