Armored Dawn – Power Of Warrior Sampler
It was a pleasant surprise to feel something preventing this week’s Beat magazine from folding down the centre. I shook the paper lightly and caught the CD which slipped out. How novel. It has been a while since a promo record has made it’s way into an issue. From its cardboard sleeve, the CD looked distinctively heavy metal, thought I didn’t recognise the artist, Armored Dawn.
Although previously a common occurence, it has been a long time since a promo CD fell from the pages of a streetpress in this town. Years ago, we would find Off The Record’s Jack, Jill and Coke compilations, amongst others, every few months, and Vice would offer their choice of music at least annually. Now, I wonder, will children wonder at the free CD? Will they take it as a look at something old-timey?
A post-listen glimpse at the website printed on the CD showed an elaborate page printed in Portuguese. Further research reveals that Armored Dawn is the new moniker of a long-running musical project formerly known as ‘Mad Old Lady.’ The standard pub-metal-made-it cover photo belied the contents of the sampler – quality orchestral prog.
Opening with what feels like a harpsichord cover of the opening to Irene Cara’s Flashdance… What A Feeling, we are soon hit with a slow choral rock the likes of which Styx would be proud. The song is called King and introduces a Tom Waits-meets-Frank Zappa lead vocal cut with harmonius breaks. The effect is cinematic, and easy to imagine pouring over a crowd swaying in time.
The record – a sample, of what I can tell, from an album called Power Of Warrior – fades to a classic-horror interlude leading to Viking Soul, a quicker, power guitar sing along which peaks to a catchy chorus. William Fly reveals duelling guitars and a more traditional sing along that will feel familiar to Iron Maiden fans. Closer Far Away mixes that formula with piano breaks to add some variety.
Following familiar icons from the band’s website to various social media channels showed these to be songs from the full Power Of Warrior album, and having heard the sample, it went instantly to my ‘To buy’ list. Not only was finding these songs a pleasant surprise with the usual Wednesday streetpress, but I applaud Armored Dawn for giving readers a tangible sample. I hope it pays off well for them, because the sample suggests they deserve it.