ALBUM REVIEWS            


Down In The Dark

Blazon Stone are a power metal band from Sweden formed in 2011 by multi instrumentalist Cederick 'Ced' Forsberg. Taking their name from the 1991 album by German power metal legends Running Wild, the band are a tribute band in all aspects bar one, they write and play all their own songs. Blazon Stone are a two member project, releasing their first album, 'Return To Port Royal' in 2013. Copying the same pirate imagery as their idols Running Wild, the lyrical theme also follows a similar path. A second album 'No Sign Of Glory' was released in 2015. A change of singer occurred for the bands third album 'War Of The Roses' and the E.P. 'Ready For Boarding', both released in 2016. The bands fourth album, the third full length release in three years, 'Down In The Dark' is set for a 2017 release.    
The expectation from a German power metal band is straight forward heavy metal with big riffs, sing a long chorus lines and an infectious catchiness. Blazon Stone do not disappoint, but also do not re invent the wheel either. Formulaic power metal songs fill the album, but you know what, who really cares... If you're looking for a catchy and memorable heavy metal album that you can head bang and sing a long to, you won't go far wrong with 'Down In The Dark'. 'The Galleons Departure' is a one minute intro fully laden with atmosphere and tension, leading into the rampant album opener 'Into Victory'. Blistering pace and big riffing, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is a Running Wild album, a thought quickly dispelled when the vocals kick in. Erik Forsberg is no Rolf Kasperek (lead singer and founder of Running Wild) but he does possess a vocal range that is suited to this style of melodic power metal. Pace quickens as the title song explodes into life and rockets on at full tilt. Founding member Ced is a master of the guitar riff and has proven his song writing abilities over the past few years. 'Down In The Dark' is a full on power metal rampage that will have you head banging furiously.    
The album is littered with pirate themed song titles, 'Hanged, Drawn And Quartered' a perfect example, opening with a mellow twanging intro before launching into a mid tempo foot stomp. A much more melodic hard rock approach, 'Hanged, Drawn And Quartered' is an anthemic romp with a chant style sing a long chorus. 'Eagle Warriors' picks up the pace and flies past like a Japanese bullet train. Rampant and raucous, 'Eagle Warriors' is a "by the numbers" power metal song, very catchy and addictive. All mellow and acoustic, the gentle intro for 'Tavern Of The Damned' soon gives way to a thundering gallop of raucousness. Featuring a heavier feel than anything heard previously, 'Tavern Of The Damned' raises images of rum drinking pirates in an old style tavern by the shores of the sea... 'Merciless Pirate King' is an explosive blast of speed metal, re-creating the Running Wild sound of the mid to late eighties. A pounding rhythm pushes 'Merciless Pirate King' along at break neck speed, invoking violent head banging. Make sure you've warmed up your neck muscles otherwise your next move will be to the local A&E for a neck brace. A blistering guitar solo adds a touch of the epic to 'Merciless Pirate King' making it one of the best songs on the album. The darker and heavier vibe returns to the album in the formidable shape of 'Watery Graves'. A hint at melodic hard rock too and 'Watery Graves' strides on majestically.    
As the album has progressed, it is obvious who Blazon Stone are influenced by. Not that it matters one bit, as there are no covers of any Running Wild songs on offer with every offering a new song penned by the band. Upping the pace and energy levels, 'Rock Out!' is pure, full on, "foot on the monitor" style heavy metal. A glorious romp of blazing guitars and galloping rhythms, get those heads banging, this is cracking stuff. '1478' is a thirty second instrumental of haunting proportions, setting a scary scene and sending a chill down the spine. Power metal reigns down in gallons as 'Bloody Inquisition' rages on and forges a savage path as it runs wild across the airways. The fastest song on the album brings this power metal party to an end in blistering style. Guitars scorch the earth as 'Captain Of The Wild' romps on relentlessly, with a massive dose of melodic hard rock thrown in too. 'Captain Of The Wild' ends the album in a frenetic fury, heads just a blur as furious head banging takes over.    
Overall, a superb album of full on and in your face power metal, head bangingly addictive and infectious.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV