Let’s just be straight as an arrow: what we deal with in this review is nothing less than the band’s name indicates. MARCH TO DIE are cold-blooded, stone-hearted wielders of Steel, hell-bent on their quest for glory and their debut is a take-no-prisoners album of raw epic/heavy metal.
The line-up consists of musicians already known from other Cypriot groups; Anastasios Danazoglou (bass) and Hugo Enrique Olivos (drums) play in MIRROR while Nikolas “Sprits” Moutafis (guitar) is a member of both MIRROR and SOLITARY SABRED. So, as expected, MARCH TO DIE share some quality characteristics with these bands, their sound being powerful and full of pounding riffs and their lyrical themes focused mainly on heroic fantasy and mythology. Fortunately, Alex Danazoglou (vocals, guitar), fierce and skillful as he is, proved to be a definitely fitting singer for such kind of sound; overall, MARCH TO DIE obviously did not lack neither the experience nor the talent. The question is, did the Muses offer Anastasios and Alex Danazoglou the blessing to create some music that is inspiring and exciting? Well, I can say that they favored them a lot and “Tears of the Gorgon” is by all means a successful debut.
The album pays homage to MANOWAR and viking-era BATHORY, it reminds a lot the barbaric epicness of bands like VALIDOR and HOLY MARTYR, yet more modern touches in the vein of ETERNAL CHAMPION’s debut and FER DE LANCE’s “Colossus” EP are also easily recognized.
First in the tracklist, “The Eternal Oath” is a lengthy introduction song, slow-marching and epic in every sense. “Hail to Thee” that follows, together with “March to Die”, are straightforward, up-lifting tracks, while “One Eyed King”, “Son of the Old Gods” and “Helmetsmasher” are fine examples of dark heathenism with “Decapitation” standing out as the most raging and savage one.
“Stand and be Counted”, of which the lyric video was released on October, 11th, is a remarkable Anglo-American blend, bringing to mind MANOWAR’s “Brothers of Metal”, yet with a chorus that echoes back to British folk roots. A truly EXCELLENT song, my personal favorite in the album.
Last but not least, self-titled “Tears of the Gorgon”, starts as a doomy elegy with some distinguishing eastern-Mediterranean exotic scales but finally lushes out as an overwhelming storm, leading to a perfect album closing!
All in all, MARCH TO DIE don’t offer something you’ve never heard before. That doesn’t mean they should be overlooked; on the contrary, they play a thought-out yet uncompromising style of traditional heavy metal and seem ready to take over the world with their urge and determination!
So, if you are into true epic sound, you should STAND UP AND BE COUNTED for the time has come – “Tears of the Gorgon” will be released by No Remorse Records on November 24th on both CD and vinyl.
Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.