It is almost a mission impossible to try and track down the majority of the 80s Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene. Thousands of bands and releases and as we focus deeper on the underground realms, there are even more bands to discover. Oh boy the Heavy Metal scene was huge during the 80s and Los Angeles was the place to be if you had a band and you wanted to haunt for the dream of success…
KNIGHTRIOT from Burbank, Los Angeles, California, US was one of those bands. Originally from Phoenix AZ, the band would take a first shape back in 1985 under the name NYTRO but they would soon move to Los Angeles, changing their name to KNIGHTRIOT. The group started to generate a good name after several gigs in popular clubs around west Hollywood (The Troubadour, The Whiskey A GoGo, The Roxy etc). Ok gigs were good, but what about the recordings?
Well KNIGHTRIOT released their debut “Speak no Evil” demo back in 1989. The solid, straight in the face Heavy Metal and the Christian oriented lyrics were the two main features that actually formed the band’s overall trademark. Someone can realize all the about only by hearing the first notes of the hymn “Holy Avenger” included in this tape.
Their classic second demo tape came one year later in 1990. Anthems like “The Sacred Legend”, “Beware the Knight” and of course “Serve the Master” are all included in here. “Beware the Knight” is already a well worshiped release by the Christian Metal fanatics.
KNIGHTRIOT’s third and final “Killing Time” demo was released back in 1992 including remarkable songs like “The Second Coming”.
Arkeyn Steel Records team managed to track down the founding members, brothers Danny and Jeffrey James (bass and vocals) in order to set up a reissue of the above KNIGHTRIOT recordings.
But what can someone here in this reissue? Well KNIGHTRIOT deliver classic Heavy Metal in the vein of ARMORED SAINT and SWORD. For the Christian Metal fanatics I would add some more bands that sound quite similar to KNIGHTRIOT: LEVITICUS, CROSS, BLOODGOOD, SAINT and FINAL AXE are good references. I guess you are getting the point. The solid riffing, the strong rhythm section and the remarkable vocals are some of the most important features on KNIGHTRIOT’s music.
Yes the songs are actually riff driven highlighting this classic Heavy Metal vibe approaching that became the main musical approaching for many bands in the 80s. KNIGHTRIOT would handle their riffing wisely, balancing their songs main guitar parts with the remarkable vocal melodies on each and every songs. And there is a wide range of lead guitar parts and solos that the listener can enjoy on their stuff.
This is another reissue based on the well know Arkeyn Steel Records standards. What does this mean? Well all the audio has been remastered from scratch from the original demo tapes by Kostas Scandalis at Infinity studio, Thessaloniki. Lyrics and lots of unreleased photos are shaping a 12-page booklet also including an in depth band biography written by Danny James himself. The overall artwork has been designed by Kostas Athanasoglou including a new expanded version of the epic front cover of the second demo.
Happy to notice that Arkeyn Steel Records managed to reissue the KNIGHTRIOT stuff. I consider their second demo as a huge Xian Metal classic and I hope that this reissue would be the starting point for more underground stuff from the white light realm to be reissued on the label/
For now you can dig the KNIGHTRIOT stuff. It is for sure worth checking.
The reissue is coming June 3d. You can pre-order the CD here.