Delivering their debut album, Greek/Cypriot metal band March to Die will release Tears of the Gorgon on the 24th of November via No Remorse Records.
Featuring members from bands such as Mirror, Friends Of Hell, and Solitary Sabred, March To Die is a brand new band ready to make their mark on modern metal. Recommended for fans of old legends like Manowar and Bathory, and also newer bands that are following a similar patch such as Grand Magus and Eternal Champion, March To Die are delivering uncompromised sword-wielding Epic Heavy Metal.
The band is based in Cyprus and Greece, and have big plans, starting with the release of this debut, Tears Of The Gorgon, but also with plans to head out on tour in 2024 in support of it. March To Die are Alex Danazoglou on vocals and guitar, Nikolas Sprits Moutafis on guitar, Anastasios Danazoglou on bass and Hugo Enrique Olivos on drums.
Tas (Anastasios) Danazoglou is also a world acclaimed tattoo artist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, as well as being a member of other bands such as Mirror, Friends Of Hell, and Satan’s Wrath, while he also served as the bass player of Electric Wizard (2008-2012) during their “Black Masses” album cycle. Nikolas Moutafis is also the guitarist of Mirror, Hardraw, Solitary Sabred, and also a producer, mixing and mastering engineer. Drummer Hugo Enrique Olivos comes from the extreme death metal territory and he is also a member of Mirror.
All music on Tears of the Gorgon is by Alex and Tas Danazoglou with all lyrics by Tas Danazoglou. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Nikolas Moutafis at Steel Fortress Studios and comes with cover art by Peter Rubens, 1618.
March To Die deliver over 48 minutes of metal over 9 tracks on Tears of the Gorgon so it is quite a hefty debut, by modern standards. It takes very little time into the opener, The Eternal Oath, to feel at ease with the style and sound of March To Die. Warning horns and a little choir bring the atmosphere to the forefront before the guitars take the reigns and lead us onwards. It does feel a bit like an intro track and has quite a sudden ending but hits quite hard with nice riffs and resounding drums. The vocals are interesting, for most of the song we stay in deep, almost spoken territory before the pitch changes near the end and raises to have a bit more snarl. Comforting in a way though, the style feels familiar but with a modern edge.
The overall sound is quite muddy, quite raw, which really suits the genre and style with the most prominent themes across the album really hitting through some excellent drum and bass rhythms and some really cool riffs and guitar melodies. Songs like One Eyed King, Helmetsmasher, March To Die, Stand and Be Counted and the title track, Tears of the Gorgon have some excellent melodic guitar lines and strong solos. One Eyed King, the second track on Tears of the Gorgon really standing out for some old school soloing and harmonising but the song also suffers a little at the beginning where I felt the vocals were a little isolated, and they aren’t necessarily the strongest to want them isolated. Once bedded into the track later on, they sound great but that first verse isn’t brilliant.
Riffs and headbanging galore here for you though. That intro to Hail To Thee is fire and the slower stompy intro with chunky bass twangs to Son of The Old Gods works a treat too in getting those neck muscles working. After a nice almost folky melodic intro to Helmetsmasher, March To Die bring another assault of absolute whiplash inducing thrashy riffing. I really like how prominent the bass is in the mix. The song, March To Die is another riffing monster with a slower groove that works really well and brings quite a bit of fuzz too. Decapitation goes more for the jugular with a loose and thrashy, death metal affair that will get mosh pits swirling.
We also get treated to some pretty catchy choruses where we see the guitars and backing vocals really elevate tracks massively. Hail To Thee is one such chorus which is just instantly catchy and makes you want to punch that air and sing along. March To Die is another with a nice engaging prechorus leading into a bigger vocal sound in the main chorus.
Structurally, the album flows really well and there is clearly a lot of song writing talent in the band. Whether through engaging intros that instantly pull you in to the atmospherics of the style, Stand and Be Counted being my favourite, or the chunky verses, more anthemic choruses, harmonising melodies and big solos, or even the thumping groove – there is a lot going on but it works wonderfully and flows perfectly. The only real flaws are more on a personal taste level where I do find the mix to be a bit too raw at times and I don’t love all vocals. I think that might be caused by the mix and the vocalist being too isolated some times, mainly in verses. I definitely prefer the deeper tone and the higher one – it’s the mid level sort of shout I find to not always be to my taste.
It’s not that much of an issue to detract from what is a seriosuly good album though. Once I finished listening to Tears of the Gorgon, it wasn’t the flaws that left the lasting impression. I was left reflecting on what is a really strong debut with some stand out tracks, huge solos, massive riffs and beats in an engaging and atmospheric style that hits hard with lashings of creativity and plenty of straight up in your face heaviness.
Grab your copy of Tears of the Gorgon from March To Die here.
March To Die Links
Tears of the Gorgon by March To Die (No Remorse Records)
The Final Score - 8/10