Blazon Stone - Damnation
Self Release
Speed Metal
10 songs (43' 2")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Andy

Just released a week ago, Damnation continues Blazon Stone's nearly perfect pastiche of Running Wild's iconic pirate-themed speed metal of the 80s and 90s -- the heady days before Rock'n'Rolf got too old and soft to plunder ships, hunt for treasure, or use a real drummer. For those who expect a band to develop its sound, don't bother with Damnation; Cederick Forsberg and his crew of scalawags appear to be interested in nothing but keeping their influence's sound preserved in perfect condition with every album they release. But for those of us who still long for more of the Running Wild sound, a new Blazon Stone album is a balm to our souls.

Ah, say the landlubbers, but there's still pirate metal out there -- why not just listen to Alestorm or something? Avast there! The lyrics don't even really have to be about pirates. Somehow Rock'n'Rolf managed to capture the sound of piratical adventure in NWOBHM-influenced 80s speed metal -- and Forsberg has figured out how to reproduce it with eerie accuracy. Raiders of Jolly Roger, one of my favorite tracks on the album, features even bigger gang choruses than the original would have had, and Forsberg's chorus is absolutely fist-pumping. Tracks range from midtempo crunchers full of leather, spikes, and riffing like Bohemian Renegade to historically-themed epics such as the most ambitious final track, Highland Outlaw. While Running Wild had its share of solo noodling, the rhythm work always had the most attention paid to it; Blazon Stone's treatment is much more shred-friendly, and the leads benefit accordingly.

The greatest drawback of Damnation is that it simply won't do anything that its predecessors didn't already do, and for the same reason: If it's not from Running Wild, it's out. Likewise, its greatest strength is the same as the albums that came before as well: It's done so well that Running Wild fans will probably embrace it anyway. For my part, I can live with that compromise. It may be the same old ship, but it's also still flying the Jolly Roger.


Killing Songs :
Raiders of Jolly Roger, Bohemian Renegade, Highland Outlaw
Andy quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Blazon Stone that we have reviewed:
Blazon Stone - Hymns of Triumph and Death reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
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