Sunday, April 21, 2024

Elegant Weapons’ Horns for a Halo: a strong supergroup debut

Supergroups have a tendency to be short lived but it’s always exciting to see what certain musicians do away from their comfort zones and with other musicians, you wouldn’t think would work well together or simply just put out a record that fills a gap between their main projects. Elegant Weapons‘ debut album; Horns for a Halo is the latter but it’s still a really strong example of that phenomenon. 

Elegant Weapons features Richie Faulkner and Scott Travis from Judas Priest, Rex Brown from Pantera and Ronnie Romero from Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and 2022 Eurovision Bulgarian entrants Intelligent Music Project. There’s quite a bit of crossover amongst all these people and they managed to put out a solid throwback album that you can easily figure out who had the most control over each song. 

There are moments of Judas Priest-style riffing and harmonised guitar work on tracks like ‘Do or Die’ and ‘Dead Man Walking’ but there’s also a lot of bluesy passages and slow syrupy southern rock moments like ‘Ghost of You’. There’s something for everybody, there’s even a sprawling Prog-style epic featuring Deep Purple-esque synth work on ‘White Horse’

A minor criticism is that some of these songs do run a bit long at times but not by much, the whole album is 53 minutes long and it becomes a bit of a slog to get through at times but the majority of these songs stand alone really well and will make brilliant additions to NWOBHM playlists around the world. 

Everyone in the band is a seasoned professional and has a set style so you know more or less everything you’re going to get going into Horns for a Halo but it’s still a vastly entertaining and energetic record that will tide most people over until the new Judas Priest record drops. 

Scott Travis and Rex Brown have already left this project, likely due to time constraints and touring commitments but hopefully Elegant Weapons has the legs to continue going with a few lineup changes. The talent is certainly there and the songwriting is strong so hopefully, there’s more to come in the future. 

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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