I do not know if someone heard my prayers out there but receiving straight from Texas, USA, a tape including two tracks of outstanding Epic Metal, is more of less a "too good to be true" fact, but yes it is true! Eternal Champion from Austin / Houston Texas where formed back on 2012 and "The Last King Of Pictdom" is their debut demo which -as I already pointed- includes two tracks.
Looking more carefully on the band's line up someone would notice Jason Tarpey on vocals. Well I have already became familiar with his trademark voice on Graven Rite -another band from Austin, Texas, USA that you should NOT miss) and I was quite excited to listen him on another project. There were some line up changes on the band's line up, so currently on the double guitar weapons we can find Carlos Laanas (Cruxiter, Hammerwhore) and Blake "Rossover" Ibanez (Powertrip). Sean Weingarther completes the current line up on bass. Hope for them to find a drummer soon (if they haven't already).
Ok lets focus on the music. The first track of the tape is called "The Last King Of Pictdom". It is a fast conquering Epic Metal anthem, full of double guitar riffing and melodies. The hammering drumming and the pounding basslines are completing the puzzle of a song to drive you straight to battle. The vocals are the big trademark in here. Thanks to the vocal melodies but also to their characteristic sound-color as well. Some effects that are used from time to time -some reverb actually- to emphasize some vocal parts -especially phrase endings- are adding an old school touch to the song.
"War At The Edge Of The End" is the second track of the demo. The tempo here is also fast but it is actually on a slower tempo and a little more riff based compared to the first track. You can listen some more fantastic guitar leads in here and those vocals that adds a lot to this demo. This tune is a little darker compared to the firts one and it is my favorite on the demo.
What I would like to add as a general point is that in my opinion the key feature of their two songs is their adventurous structure. The band uses lot of guitar, themes, melodies and riffs to compose songs that would catch listener's interest from the very first. On every new listening someone would discover something new. It is also a fact that if you listen more carefully to the songs you would realize that they are far away from the typical "lets put some riffs together and a solo at the end" structure of your everyday "Epic Metal" band. Eternal Champion knows how to use their inspired riffs and melodies to create complete songs full of Metal force and with a technical touch as well.
Well here we got some great dark / adventurous / technical Epic Metal with balls. Listening to Eternal Champion's I brought into my mind the great US / Italian band Hyborian Steel they are on the same mood as well, check them! Of course some classic bands like Manilla Road and Omen can be discovered on Eternal Champion's influences. But OK influences are influences, the final result is what matters and on the case of eternal Champion both their songs are great.
Last but not least, it is more than crystal clear that a big influence on the band's concept / lyrics is the the mighty Elric of Melniboné (a fictional character created by Michael Moorcock, Elric is the main hero of Moorcok's famous Sword And Sorcery book series).
You can write to the band and ask about their tape. I think that it should be sold out by now but you can ask various distros. But I got some good news. The two tracks will be released on an 7'' soon! So stay tuned!