Review by Stefan: This is a Swedish band founded around ex-Portrait guitarist David Stranderud who started five years ago with the help of a few other members which were active in David Lee Rott and Cult Of The Fox. Assassin’s Blade was born although there was still a need to find a suitable singer. No one less than Jacques Bélanger (ex-Exciter) came to complete the ranks and I could only be happy about that. He wasn’t authorized to push the one and only Dan Beehler off his pedestal, Jacques still delivered a great performance and as far as I’m concerned a worthy replacement for big Dan!

Assassin’s Blade’s first achievement came to light with the album “Agents Of Mystification” (2016) and scored an excellent rating. Now their sophomore effort “Gather Darkness” is in our midst and you can be sure that they haven’t sacrificed any quality, this is again a brilliant output that gets even a little higher appreciation from myself. Over a period of more than 45 minutes, 10 songs will be served in a very pleasant classic heavy/power and occasionally speed metal manner, you really get value for your money because the production and song writings is also very convincing.

“Gather Darkness” is a real pleasure for those who love authentic, unadulterated metal where a simple musical approach prevails in all its glory. Listening to this band bring out good memories of days gone by, I mean the 80’s, the most beloved period of my life ! The voice is Jacques delivers the goods, high pitched strong vocals lines bring me into temptation. With his former band Exciter he was supreme, what he performs with Assassin’s Blade is equal to his qualities of yesteryear, in my opinion a first class metal performer ! Also both axeman are really good; pure and quite modestly, powerful, reasonably technical/melodic and effective with emphasis on a very good focus… actually that’s how I like the sound of roaring metal guitars most of all time.

I have also been able to enjoy many US Metal influences, especially thanks to the typical riffs and high vocals related to this almighty type of metal. If you’re the one who’s attracted to bands like Powerlord, Chemikill, Savage Steel, Liege Lord, Anvil Bitch, Judas Priest (“Ram It Down”/”Painkiller period”) and of course Exciter (90s era) you should definitely stop at the address of Assassin’s Blade.

During the whole nine yards, Assassin’s Blade has never saddled me with a bad feeling, my greatest passion will forever and always be assigned to the old tradition, preferably US Metal focused…. that’s why I like a band like this so much delivering nothing but in-your-face type of metal anthems with a US Metal vibe ! Great and recommended album anyway, also available on vinyl to be purchased via  Band info at:  /

My rating: 86/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)