Ian Blurton Future Now
Signals Through the Flames

Holy crap did this come out of left field or what?  Released last year, this promo was just sent to me by the label recently and literally I had to get a review out.  Never heard of this dude, this release and or band and Ian has been in the metal industry for over 3 decades.  This is his debut solo album and the band is based out of Toronto Canada.  Had I known about this last year this may have actually usurped my #1, which was the stunning Possessed come-back album.  Since I grew up with the beginnings of early Heavy Metal this album resonates with me in a way that I have to say this may be one of the best metal albums I have heard in 30 years.

Combining the very early recordings of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Blue Oyster Cult and then throw in some speed and power metal and then BAM!, add some of the first Angelwitch album and Christ almighty this is one of the best debut albums I have ever fucking heard.  I cannot get enough of this.  Limited cd copies available and a vinyl hardcopy is out there.  The bonus is the promo has 3 bonus songs and this is the way to go.  The cover of “Race with the Devil” is simply stunning.

Opening with “Eye of the Needle” and looking at the 70’s inspired acid trip of an album cover you will think, this is going to be some hippy doll drum peace loving 60’s retro rock band. The brief musical intro makes you think that until a nice thumping fast beat, bordering on power thrash, then to the trad metal vocal moments and then the song picks up speed to a bit of a punkish speed and the vocals are insanely catchy.  Very early metal, like Sabbath, Priest and Blue Oyster Cult.  The guitar riffing super powerful and then the song gets into some thrash style, however all the while the influence is the NWOBHM and classic metal sounds from the guitars and drums and especially the vocals.  I am in awe when I listen to this song and the thumping strumming of the bass guitar is stereo collapsing.  The guitar riffing, melodies and solos are terrific.  The chorus for “Seven Bells” with the thumping bass slides and monster rhythm section is insanely catchy.

My Anatomy of a Song piece goes to “The March of Mars”.  One of the best metal songs ever.  The light drumming in the beginning has you thinking ballad until the volume increases, the drums and synths get louder and the guitar melodic soloing is vintage 70’s style, maybe even a little late 60’s.  This song gets lighter and the washed out vocals and reverb simply adding depth and beauty.  The heavy metal guitar riffing comes forth and splits your head while open as some amazing Black Sabbath moments come in.  This song has Sabbath Bloody Sabbath moments all over the fucking place.  The song gets back into more of that acid rock, washed out atmospheric spacey sounding shit and then with the heavy moments and the guitar sound is vintage Sabbath.  I cannot get enough of this song.  The guitar riffing, pacing, soloing, drums, atmospherics and song structure is beyond captivating and catchy.  One of the most pure vintage metal songs in existence.  These guys and Mr. Blurton know metal, power and how to make it emote.  A very rare trait nowadays, in metal.

The rest of the album, as well as those 3 bonus songs, the cover I mentioned, “Upon Yesterday” and “Space is Forever”, captures the essence of real heavy metal music with bursts of thrash and speed power metal and it all is cohesive.  The production is loud, powerful and all the great music is heard and has an amazing organic feel to it. Ian Blurton Future Now’s Signals Through the Flames is just what the metal scene needs at this point in time.  Ian Blurton needs to create more albums like this and this style of all these varying genres is a breath of fresh air and still sounds amazingly original.  This is one of the most pure metal albums released, as I said earlier, in the last 30 years and for that this is a very important album.  Absolutely stunning!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
February 7th, 2020

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