Eternal Champion’s Top 5 Sword-Wielding Anthems
Sharpen your axe/sword/scimitar and don your chain-mail for today we ride into battle…and more importantly, THE WEEKEND!
Hi Jason, how’s things going in the Eternal Champion camp? Any news you’d like to share with us about what you guys have been up to recently?
Things are going pretty good, in the past we haven’t played out much but this year we went to Germany and did Keep It True and another fun gig in Belgium, played Defenders of The Old Festival and a couple other east coast gigs in DC and Philly, even went out and played Denver and Salt Lake City, all of them were great shows and we’ve been having fun playing out again. At present we’re slowing down on gigs and trying to write a new record.
A busy band is a good band. Your most recent album The Armor Of Ire received quite a buzz, which saw it compared to some of the old-school classics of the genre. Do you think it’s a reasonable expectation of listeners to be able to critique these contemporary trad metal albums in the same manner that they do the releases from the original wave(s)?
I’m not sure it’s fair for me to say. I’m glad people like it but as far as it holding up with the classics, that’s up to the listener. In the grand scheme of things, say in 300 years when heavy metal doesn’t exist anymore, there won’t be a huge difference between 1985 and 2015 and all these albums will be judged on equal merits. For instance look how we view Lord Dunsany and Robert E. Howard, both giant writers but they were publishing stories 25-30 years apart from each other, in retrospect a very short amount of time.
If only more people had that kind of perspective. What is it about Moorcock’s lore that you find most compelling as a theme for your style of music?
Moorcock’s fiction is compelling to me for a few reasons, the Law vs. Chaos dichotomy, the struggling nature that every incarnation of the Eternal Champion seems to embody is always interesting (you never want your heroes to have things going too well), and the author’s prose and world-building appeal to me for purely subjective reasons. I never meant to focus too much on Moorcock’s literature though, EC is just a great name and we have “Retaliator” and “The Cold Sword” based solely on MM’s stories, but I mainly try to focus on the weird fiction genre as a whole. This band could have just as easily been named BRAN MAK MORN or KANE.
Damn right it’s a great name. The members of your band are involved in a bunch of concurrently popular bands, how do you manage time between projects? Do you try and devote an even amount of your free-time to each one? Is the possibility of the popularity of one band seeing another suffer a concern for you?
Since the beginning we knew EC wasn’t gonna be a road warrior type band, most of us aren’t looking to have the typical “band experience” with this group. We just want to make good records and play a few shows when the boys aren’t too busy, and as you said we have some busy guys in this band. Arthur is super swamped making magic happen for many projects and Power Trip is always up to something so sometimes we have to get a fill-in for Blake but the rest of us can usually find time to slip a gig in here and there.
Seems to be working so far, now let’s get into your list. Today you’re going to be taking us through your Top 5 Sword-Swinging Anthems, let’s see what you’ve chosen…
#5: Battleroar – “Narsil (Reforge the Sword)”
Here’s a bruiser based on Tolkien’s famed sword Narsil. Forged in the First Age, wielded and broken in the Second Age, and reforged in the Third to be used by Aragorn. I’m a blacksmith so this song really appeals to my fancy. Battleroar‘s first three albums are excellent, and the record (“Age of Chaos”) that features this song is perfect.
#4: Blind Assassin – “Put to the Sword”
Here’s an arcane pick and one of my favorite demos of all time. This band has a unique approach, especially the vocals. I’m not the type of guy that gets hung up on technicality or flawless production, this dude Kevin Jackson has a lot of character in his voice. This 3 song demo is all they released and it is concentrated Sword & Sorcery atmosphere.
#3: DoomSword – “For Those That Died with Sword in Hand”
Not easy to pick a DoomSword song since they have so many based on famous blades/sword fighting, but this one comes from my favorite album of theirs called “Resound The Horn”, a crown jewel of epic heavy/doom metal. “This is my end, I proudly mix my blood with sand, No! Do not crave for those who die with sword in hand.” Excellent.
#2: Heavy Load – “Singing Swords”
Here’s an actual anthem by the Swedish masters. I love the Priest-y verse guitar on this and when the chorus hits you know this is one of the catchiest sword clashers ever written. Valhalla calls, I’m on my way!
#1: Manilla Road – “The Veils of Negative Existence”
“I will never put my sword down, I will never run away.” “Nuff said.
Now you should head over to Eternal Champion’s Facebook page and thank them for aiding you in glorious battle with several chants of “HAIL AND KILL”. Make sure you have a copy of their triumphant album The Armor Of Ire handy or you will be exposed as a fvlse bastard and denied entry into the hall of the trve warriors etc.