Released by: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 13 November 2015
Genre: Heavy Metal
Jimmy Mavromatis – Vocals
Matt Olivo – Guitar
Stamos K – Guitar
Tas Danazoglou – Bass
Jaime Gomez Arellano – Drums
02. Curse of the Gypsy
03. Year of the Red Moon
04. Heavy King
05. Madness and Magik
07. Cloak of a Thousand Secrets
08. Orion’s Sword
From the self titled opening track “Mirror”, the style of the album was set with a Sabbath-esque “Children of the Grave” themed build up, before the classic vintage tone ripped through my speakers.
The blistering guitar work by Matt Olivo and Stamos K is reminiscent to so many classic bands like Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. I particularly enjoyed the harmonic intro to “Curse of the Gypsy”, which also features great NWOBHM galloping riffs and neoclassical solo fretwork.
“Year of the Red Moon” and “Heavy King”, are full on Deep Purple, Uriah Heep styled tracks that bring back that classic tone that fans of these bands will love. Strong hooks with a hint of progressive Rush influence. Tas Danazoglou really lays down the pumping bass lines alongside a Hammond sounding organ which creates a warm, retro effect.
“Madness and Magik”, is a personal favourite that I found myself coming back to hear again and again. It has a strong 70s melodic riff that is very repetitive as Jimmy Mavromatis bellows out operatic vocals in unison. The best part happens when the band comes to a stop and there’s some epic chanting not too distant than what we would have heard years ago in Candlemass or Black Widow. The tempo picks up and there’s again some great harmonic minor riffage going down.
“Galleon” and “Cloak of a Thousand Secrets” are again very NWOBHM sounding where fans of early Judas Priest records will be tapping along. There’s a classic style to the album where older listeners will enjoy the homage that the band are paying to the metal gods as well as spinning their own style on that distinct sound.
“Orion’s Sword” goes hand in hand with “Elysian” as a spacious acoustic with synth instrumental filler to the slow doom wall of sound that follows. There’s a real Occult rock feel to the final track with the minor chords and heavy organ over the top. Jaime Gomez Arellano has superb skills throughout the album from behind the kit, but this track sets him apart with the shifting between fast paced hi-hat shuffling beats to hard hitting doom drumming.
Overall, this is definitely an album for fans of classic heavy metal and perhaps new listeners of the evolving resurgence of Occult rock scene (Ghost, In Solitude, The Devil’s Blood, Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth) to check out.
Written by: David Bell