The Philadelphia traditional metal band Blazon Rite are this week’s featured Meet The Band artist. Endless Halls Of Golden Totem is their full-length debut, following a 2020 EP. Guitarist James Kirn introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Blazon Rite.
James Kirn: I was in a ’70s hard rock band called Crazy Bull with Johnny (Halladay, vocals) and (Ryan) Haley (drums). We ended and I wanted to start writing heavy metal. They were into it and we added Pierson (Roe) on guitar and I started writing the EP. Now here we are are releasing our first full-length two years later.
Describe the songwriting process for Endless Halls Of Golden Totem.
I started writing the songs for the album even before our EP was released. I usually write the songs and our lead guitar player, Pierson, takes the songs and adds the leads and solos and then we work them out during practice.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Listening back to all the songs once all the rhythm guitars were done and I heard how awesome it was going to sound. Everyone kind of looked at each other and we knew it was gonna be a good one. Also, the day we worked on the guitar tone was super fun just honing in on the right sounds for the album.
How did the pandemic affect the creation of the album?
Slowed down the entire process of recording and rehearsing for the album. Couldn’t rehearse for awhile and therefore we had to push back the recording date. Luckily we are still having it released pretty promptly from when we recorded in January, which is amazing.
How has your sound evolved from last year’s EP?
We’ve added a lot more riff variety and different speeds on this album. Each song, to me, is more realized and thought out. I think we pushed it to the next level with songwriting, vocals and the overall polish of the production. It sounds way more professional overall.
What lyrical topics do you cover this time around?
Mainly fantasy themes. We cover betrayal, making love before going to battle, ancient creatures in ancient forests, enchanted watchmen in a tower, the life of an executioner and a brutish henchman. We cover a wide variety of topics!
How did you come to sign with Gates Of Hell Records?
I hit them up through email asking about help with releasing our full-length. They said they had heard our EP and were interested in re-releasing it on vinyl and we were super stoked. We’re super thankful they took a chance on our band and we’re willing to have faith that our first full-length would deliver.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
I just hope people really enjoy it. That’s really it! I hope we garner enough interest to be able to keep releasing music. We also hope the album generates enough interest that we can play bigger shows and possibly get to Europe!
How was the video shoot for “Executioner’s Woe”?
It was super fun and goofy. It came together really quick and easy. Our friend is a real pro and kept it as easy as possible for us to nail it. We put together a basic set and concept and just went for it. Tried to be as over the top as possible and it came out pretty good we think.
Have you planned any live shows in support of the album?
Nothing major. Our first show is coming up in July in York, Pa! We’re starting there and seeing what the future brings.
How did you get started in music?
Started playing guitar when I was 12 and never stopped. Started playing in metal and punk bands soon after that and just been trying to hone my craft as a songwriter since then. I always loved music and guitar growing up so it was only natural for me to grab the six string as soon as I could.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
My earliest and biggest influences on my current style in music were Black Sabbath, the Misfits, solo Ozzy, AC/DC and Slayer. Randy Rhoads and Angus Young were huge for me as a kid.
What was the first metal concert you attended.
My first metal concert was Nile when I was abut 14. I was really big into death metal growing up.
What was the best thing you binge watched during the pandemic?
Trailer Park Boys again.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Perdition Temple, Bathory, Rush, Steely Dan, Grateful Dead, Deicide.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
I would just encourage everyone to check out our new album Endless Halls of Golden Totem, which is out now!
(interview published June 19, 2021)
Watch Blazon Rite – “Executioner’s Woe” Video