The highly anticipated new studio album of this popular heavy metal band! After a demo recording in 2013 and the split EP with Gatekeeper in 2015, it was obvious that the name of ETERNAL CHAMPION was going to spread through the underground scene. The debut full-length album “The Armor of Ire”, released in 2016 by No Remorse Records, became one of the best and most hyped albums of the last years. Now they will satisfy their legion of followers with another big album that may be rated even over their debut.
Hello Arthur, your debut with The Armor of Ire was a great surprise for many people, did you expect that good reaction?
A: We did not know what to expect. All we knew is that we loved it and hoped other people would too!
Now with the swords well above the average level have you felt the pressure for the creation of your sophomore album?
A: There was a certain pressure I felt to not betray our fan base but over all we took our time and did not stress too much about writing. We all have other things going on so we waited until the time was right and we were happy with the new songs.
Jason Tarpey is one of those guys that can motivate the people to win a war, how is the guy inside the band?
A: Jason is definitely a motivator and he keeps the band running strong and always comes up with great ideas.
Let’s talk about your second album, “Ravening Iron”, when did you start composing the songs and how was the process?
A: These songs were composed throughout the 3 years since Armor had been released. Whenever we felt inspired the band would work on demos and then send them to Jason who is on the other side of the country. He would think about vocals and then we would make more demos and change the songs according to what worked with the vocals.
Did the pandemic distort that process in any way?
A: The pandemic hit in the middle of me mixing the record, all that was left to do was synthesizers and some leads. I mastered it during the peak of the pandemic and we sent it off.
No Remorse Records is the lucky label to release “Ravening Iron”, I suppose you receive calls from time to time to sign for other one?
A: We have worked with them for a long time and they gave us a deal we could not refuse. Our label Sword Worship has released the album in North America and we work hand in hand with No Remorse.
Time to be sincere, who is the boss when it comes to decide about the orientation of a song, Tarpey, Powers… or democracy is the law?
A: Democracy is the law in the band. We all put our effort forth and then I try to bring the vision to life with the production.
No Remorse records 2020
To be sincere, when I look at the cover artwork I have a “deja vu” about the Manowar universe, but “Ravening Iron” is much more complex and rich than that, with all my respect to Manowar fans…
A: We love Manowar it is known. Our artist Ken Kelly does multiple styles and we wanted something more detailed and dense than what he did with Manowar. He is a legend and a massive talent and was able to do that with no problem.
In fact, I could quote such big names as Cirith Ungol, Sanctuary, Manilla Road… that your music inspires me. True or I have a too imaginative mind?
A: Of course especially Manilla Road one of our songs Worms Of The Earth was written after the death of Mark Shelton. The music itself is inspired by many different places we do not stick to one sub genre of heavy metal.
What are the lyrics about?
A: Anything that takes you out of the tangible world we live in.
Not bad at all. Any favorite song in the album?
A: I love Cowards Keep it sticks out from our typical type of song.
In 2015 you released a split together with one of my fav Canadian young bands, Gatekeeper, how did it happen? Any idea to do that again in the future with that same or another band?
A: Actually I was not in the band when it happened so I do not know specifically how it came to be, we will definitely be playing shows with Gatekeeper when shows come back… We have not discussed any splits as of right now with anyone, although we are discussing something like that for our new label Sword Worship.
Cool, we will be waiting for the news. In your opinion, what is the point that makes Eternal Champion so charismatic or so attractive for the fan?
A: I can tell you my favorite part of the band are the vocals.
They are truly emotional. “Ravening Iron” is better than The Armor of Ire?
A: It is like comparing children! Can not do it!
Hahaha, OK. If you go to Youtube you can see that The Armor of Ire has more than 700.000 plays. Whether you have many influencers betting for you or Eternal Champion is one of those projects destined to success, What do you think?
A: I think since we have not put it on Spotify or Apple music that people will go to Youtube to hear it for free. I do not think we have many influencers we do not even have much of an online following.
That’s suprinsingly true, I must say. The billing for the HELL OVER HAMMABURG fest is outstanding for the 2021. And Eternal Champion will be performing alongside those bands. You have played already in big fests in Europe, second home for you?
A: I think any band who comes from the United States and gets the chance to play a festival in Europe always feels big time! It generally sucks here and it generally rules there for metal at least.
Unfortunately last news are that Hell over Hammaburg has been moved to 2022 becuase of the pandemic, hopefully with the same billing. But how do you see the Metal scene nowadays?
A: People in their houses live streaming concerts.
You grew listening to…?
A: Heavy Metal and other stuff like ABBA, The Bee-Gees so on.
The question of this year for all bands: how are you dealing with the pandemic?
A: As a band it sucks to miss out on the opportunity to play these songs live as the album is released. We took time to do stuff. John Powers has taken the time to studied guitar luthier and set up. Jason wrote his book and strikes the hammer and the anvil. I have produced a dozen LPs over this time.
Thanks for you comments Arthur and congratulations for your second album