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Gather Darkness

   
       
       
       
     
             
Assassin's Blade are a heavy/speed metal band from Sweden, formed in 2014 by former Exciter singer, Jacques Belanger (vocals for Exciter 1996-2001 and 2003-2006), releasing their debut album 'Agents Of Mystification' in 2016. The bands second album 'Gather Darkness' was released in 2019.    
             
With their sound a hybrid of Exciter, Judas Priest and the European style of power metal, Assassin's Blade deliver ten songs across a furious forty five minutes with their sophomore album 'Gather Darkness'. 'Tempt Not (The Blade Of The Assassin)' opens the album in blistering style, quickly into its stride and powering on at high velocity. The glorious thrash influenced power metal sound of 'Tempt Not (The Blade Of The Assassin)' is breath taking, and a sparkling start to the album. Thundering into life, 'Call Of The Watch' maintains the electrifying opening, rampaging forth like a wild storm and more thrashy than the opener. Get those heads banging hard as 'Call Of The Watch' relentlessly thunders on - which is exactly what the title song does too. 'Gather, Darkness!' has a huge melodic edge and owes a lot of its sound to the power metal genre. In just three songs Assassin's Blade have manoeuvred their sound from speed metal to thrash to power metal, easily and effortlessly.    
             
Slowing the pace right down, 'The City That Waits' adopts an almost doom metal heavy foot stomp. A sinister and menacing feel takes over the album, as 'The City That Waits' does it's best to frighten and scare the listener with its heavy thundering slow march. The electrifying pace of the albums opener returns at full tilt, as the high velocity 'Dream Savant' rockets on at pace. The genres of thrash and power combine perfectly as 'Dream Savant' powers on and on. Paying homage to the more traditional sound of heavy metal, 'Gods' marches on with a "foot on the monitor" feel, adding touches of the power metal genre as it gallops on by.    
             
The diversity and variety of styles throughout the album keeps the listener on their toes, not knowing which direction the album will turn next. Toward the heavy end of the hard rock genre is where 'The Ghost Of Orion' takes us. This lighter, much more melodic offering is a far cry from the thrashy first couple of songs, and keeps the album interesting. The menacing feel of earlier marks its return with the fast paced 'The Thaumaturge'. Power and pace combined, 'The Thaumaturge' fairly thunders along, with a hugely melodic edged chorus break. Once again electrifying pace takes over as 'I, Of The Storm' breaks free and lurches forward at full tilt. Head bangers of the world warm up your neck muscles, as furious head banging is the only style to accompany this one. The final song on the album 'Soil Of The Dead', takes on the mantle of melodic power metal, once again showing the band as having no fear of varying their sound, and not being confined to just the one style of music. Kudos Assassin's Blade.    
             
Overall, a meandering journey through the genres of speed, thrash and power to deliver a varied yet exciting listening experience.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Pure Steel Records    
             
Review is also featured at Metal Gods TV    
             
             
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