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Fire Up the Blades DLC - 50%

Feast for the Damned, August 5th, 2019

Let's make this clear from the start: this release shouldn't exist at all. The band decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to release a 3 song EP that's only 11 minutes long. That wouldn't be a problem if they weren't songs that were recorded during the making of the previous full-length Fire Up the Blades. This still wouldn't piss me off completely if they didn't include Trial of Champions on it. It was the best song on the previous record, but the fact that they are trying to sell the exact same recording again is just fucking dumb. Let's not talk about the fact that out of the 2 remaining songs only one of them is an original one since they also included a cover. This alone is enough reason to not rate it higher than 50%.

I guess we should talk about the songs now so here we go I guess. Trial of Champions is still an all-around amazing song with its rock 'n' roll bits and the use of synth. The vocals and the riffs are still amazing with their almost anthem-like upbeat sound, BUT GUESS WHAT? This was on Fire Up the Blades so it's absolutely pointless to re-use the same recording on a different record. Then there is the cover song. I have to admit I am not all that familiar with the Lucifer's Friend's proto-metal discography (if we can even call them proto-metal considering that Black Sabbath has already released the self-titled album 6 months earlier than this song was made), but somehow 3 Inches of Blood managed to transform the song into a kick-ass power metal song (even though after listening to the original I think it's a lot worse). The vocals sell the song once again.

Now that we are done with that we can talk about the actual new song. Key to Oblivion is without question better than 95% of the song on Fire Up the Blades. Somehow the synth is used tastefully and actually adds to the song a lot with its football pitch sound effects. It has an actually good riff and an incredibly catchy chorus. It's an all-around great song... So why the fuck couldn't they include this on Fire Up the Blades instead of one of the messed up experimenting songs. It just blows my mind that they managed to not include this song on the full-length, but then again it might have been a business decision so that people would get this EP too.

Overall it's an absolutely great example of what an EP shouldn't be. I can't give it a lower rating since all the songs are great, but the fact that they released this separately from Fire Up the Blades deserves this rating. It's a real shame that this had to be the last release where Jamie Hooper does the harsh vocals. He deserved a better farewell.