Four-song EP from Seattle epic speed metallers that brings to life their Star Trek worship with true, unbowed heavy metal! Hot off the heels of 2019’s Cyber Metal, Seattle’s Skelator emerge with the Blood Empire EP to tide fans over before their next full-length — a four-song journey that captures the band at their epic and thrashing best.
Skelator’s 2019 Cyber Metal opus found the Seattle thrashers pushing their musical and lyrical elements to the outer limits. The eight-song outing was Skelator at their unapologetic best, featuring marauding NWOBHM-inspired guitar lines and a detailed concept from the mind of vocalist Jason Conde-Houston that was a clinic on sci-fi and 1980s movie worship. Their first album on Gates of Hell Records left an immediate impression on denizens across the metal globe who wondered where the band would head next. The answer is the Blood Empire EP, a four-song platter that marries Skelator’s penchant for both epic and punctuating thrash numbers.
The EP was largely a DIY effort. Recorded in September and October 2021 at the band’s rehearsal studio and home studios, Skelator benefitted from the production skills of guitarist Robbie Houston, who mixed the album. (Collin Jordan of The Boiler Room Mastering handled mastering duties.) Houston tracked Patrick Seick’s drums and Conde-Houston’s vocals while leaving fellow guitarist Rob Steinway and bassist Leona Hayward to record on their own. The album’s dense and layered approach would almost belie Skelator’s recording tactics, but layer by layer, part by part, Blood Empire came together as a fully-realized work that captures the complexity and depth of Skelator’s music.
Blood Empire features two bonafide epic cuts in “Good Day to Die” and “The First Empire” and two thrashers, “Deeds of Honor” and “Bloodwine.” The song sequence gives the EP a cinematic-like quality that serves as a journey into Conde-Houston’s story about Star Trek Klingon lore. It is the beginning of “The Kahless Trilogy” that will chronicle the many deeds that Kahless did to make his empire come true and ties into the Max Nazaryan-created cover art that shows Kahless having his final batter with his brother, Morath, on the peak of a volcano.
Conde-Houston formed Skelator in 1998. The band almost went under the “Red Omen” moniker before going with Skelator after the main villain in the 1980s He-Man cartoon. It started a journey of endless discovery and high output (to date, Skelator has released three demos, two splits, two singles, two EPs — including Blood Empire — and five full-lengths). Through it all, the sheer love of playing and defending true metal has continually kept the fire lit under Skelator. With their magnum opus Cyber Metal and now Blood Empire ready to greet the metal masses, Skelator will continue to stride boldly into the future.
1. Deeds OF Honor
2. Good Day To Die
3. The First Empire
GENRE: Speed/Heavy Metal