Search Results for "Black Tower"

DS Staff Picks – The Torchbearer’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Well hello there.  I’m Jerry, and I’ve been writing stories for Dying Scene for the past couple years.  You may have also seen some of my album reviews pop up from time to time this year.  2015 has been an awesome year in music.  I discovered so many new bands that I’ve given up trying to keep count.  Old and new favorites put out new albums this year, and the shows I went to were incredible (FEST FEST FEST!)  Somehow I managed to take the 75 or so potential albums I’ve liked this year and narrow that down to my 10 favorites.  Take a gander below!

Album Review: Black Tower – “The Secret Fire”

Whether your steed of choice is a war horse as you gallop through the battlefield slaying orcs, or your drunk buddies back as you piggy-back through a circle pit, Black Tower’s music will provide you with the perfect soundtrack.  In their debut album, The Secret Fire¸ the Canadian trio unleash their brand of punk/metal, that owes just as much to traditional British and black metal as it does to the dark melodic punk of the members’ other projects, Crusades, The Creeps, and The Visitors.  The band states this album is heavily influenced by the works of Tolkien, specifically The Hobbit.  While that is very obvious when reading the lyrics, and the music itself seems to serve well as an anthem for a medieval war, it is still just as enjoyable for anyone not interested in such things.

The album starts out strong with “Death March,” as a galloping intro builds into a punchy call to arms of a verse that features singer and guitar player Erin’s wails over driving power chords and double bass driven drums that don’t skimp on the cymbal play.  As Erin sings “We’ve gathered the brave / To march / Into the unknown,” her vocals remind me of a more demented Iron Maiden and you can’t help but feel compelled to want to go on this journey with them.  When she then squeals out “We’re ready to die!” in a scream that even the best black metal-heads would be envious of, you may want to think again.  But fear not, for as the song continues, bass player and singer Skottie comes in to provide a battle cry to the troops, belting out “We’ve reached the mountain  / We can hear the best roar / We got blood on our swords / We got blood on our swords,” in his more soothing but haunting tone.

The interplay between the two singers’ very different voices bring out the best in every song, as the music tends to tie them together so that everything complements each other.  As the vocal delivery goes from dim and somber to raging and virulent, so does the music.  Songs like “Riders” and “Winter” tend to have slower drum parts and more dissonant guitar lines that give them a brooding feel, while songs like “Black Moon” and “Shadows” bring out the blast beats, heavy power chords, and wailing vocals.  The members of Black Tower are so well versed in making dark sounding music without coming off as cheesy, that everything they attempt on this album comes through flawlessly.

The whole album seems to lead up to the epic “Night Siege,” which, as the longest song on the album, serves as a chance for the band to play around with a little bit of everything they have done up to this point musically, and to wrap up the journey taken lyrically.  Up to this point, the listener feels like they have been on a quest leading up to this final battle as the band sings, “Ten thousand men / atop their steeds / The arrows pierce and they bleed and they bleed.”  But as the band lead’s us this far, they make it a point to ensure you the battle isn’t over and there is more to come.  “A war begins / The time has come / For their blood to run!”  The album then comes to a close with the final acoustic track “The Secret Fire,” which at first I thought would have served better as an interlude rather than a closer, but after listening to the album and reading the lyrics more, I see this as kind of like the credits music to an epic movie that didn’t quite have a happy ending, leaving the audience begging for more.

And so is The Secret Fire.  It comes in strong and takes you on a most epic journey before leaving the listener much too soon and desperately seeking more.  Here’s hoping that like the Hobbit, this is just the beginning of many great adventures to come.

5/5 Stars

Stream The Hobbit inspired debut album “The Secret Fire” from Black Tower (Crusades, The Creeps)

Contrary to what you might think, Ottawa punk outfit Black Tower, featuring  members of Crusades, The Visitors, and The Creeps, are not satanists and the “dark lord” prominently referenced in their fantastic debut album The Secret Fire is not the red, horned demon you might be think he is.  The lyrics and music of The Secret Fire are entirely inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous fantasy novel The Hobbit and the “dark lord”, of course, is Sauron.

But you don’t have to be a fantasy nerd to enjoy this album.  In fact, if you like punk rock, specifically in the vein of the Crusades, then you’re going to seriously dig this release and we encourage you to give it a listen in its entirety right here.

The Secret Fire is set to be released on CD and digitally June 2nd via Unspeakable Axe Records.  No Idea Records will be handling the vinyl release later this summer.

Black Tower (Crusades, The Creeps) stream two new songs

Ottawa punk/metal outfit Black Tower (featuring  members of Crusades, The Visitors, and The Creeps) are streaming two new songs from their upcoming debut album The Secret Fire.

You can listen to “Riders” and “Shadows” below.

The Secret Fire is set to be released on CD and digitally June 2nd via Unspeakable Axe Records.  No Idea Records will be handling the vinyl release later this summer.

Music Video: Black Tower – “Death March”

Ottawa punk/metal outfit Black Tower (featuring  members of Crusades, The Visitors, and The Creeps) have released a music video for their song “Death March,” which is off their upcoming debut album The Secret Fire.

Check it out here.

The Secret Fire is set to be released on June 2nd via  No Idea Records and Unspeakable Axe Records.

Black Tower (Crusades, The Creeps) to release debut album on No Idea and Unspeakable Axe records

Ottawa punk/metal outfit Black Tower (featuring  members of Crusades, The Visitors, and The Creeps) have just announced that their debut album The Secret Fire will be released as a joint effort between No Idea Records and Unspeakable Axe Records.  Unspeakable Axe will be handling the CD version of the album, while No Idea will be taking care of the vinyl release.  The band is aiming to have the album released sometime before the summer solstice, so look out for it in June.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated as new details come to light.  If you haven’t given the band a listen yet, you can check out a demo they released a few years back here.

Black Tower (Crusades, The Creeps) announce debut LP “The Secret Fire”

Ottawa punk/metal outfit Black Tower has just been formed from members of Crusades, The Visitors, and The Creeps. They have recently announced that they are wrapping up their work on their debut LP, The Secret Fire. While that is all the information we have on the group and their ongoing work with the LP, we will keep you updated as more details come to light.