SKELATOR – Time Of The Sword Rulers

SKELATOR - Time Of The Sword Rulers
  • 9.5/10
    SKELATOR - Swords - 9.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    SKELATOR - The Gore Of War - 8.5/10


Metal On Metal Records
Release date: September 15, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

True Metal is not just an understatement; it is this genre’s spirit and importance to many Metalheads around the world. Manowar, Wizard and many other bands in Heavy Metal call for the protection of True Metal from the posers that roam the world. These “posers” remain a riddle to many Metalheads because they can be referred to as fans of other genres or they can also be referred to as other Metalheads who believe in false Metal (mostly associated with Nu Metal / Breed, Metalcore and such other modern acts).

The American Skelator also calls for True Metal and identify with its fame, yet its efforts recognized more towards the epic side of Heavy Metal and the reproduction of historic events from ancient times of the Vikings and the savage Barbarians. Skelator, with its 80s Heavy / Speed Metal creations, succeeded on presenting its epics with a high sense of maturity. After spinning Time Of The Sword Rulers, it’s okay to pronounce that Skelator has reached the point in Metal storytelling where its theatrics, drama and most importantly, its members’ musical skills, leave behind many veteran bands which approach their material in the same manner. In Skelator you will find Manowar, Iron Maiden (and NWOBHM in general), Sacred Steel and the intensity of Thrash Metal acts such as Venom, Slayer, Overkill and Helstar. With this large combination of bands, you will not be disappointed.

Time Of The Sword Rulers, which came under Metal On Metal Records, is not acting as a presentation of new material by Skelator. This album is a compilation made from the band’s two releases. The first one is the EP Swords, released in 2005 and the second one is a Split release from 2006, with a Brutal Death Metal band named Gutrot (today Ritual Torture), called The Gore Of War. For this compilation all the tracks from Swords and The Gore Of War were taken except for the Manowar cover on The Gore Of War. Two other additions to the album were the songs “Save The Devil” and “She-Ra”. The former is an unreleased title from a side project named Shredder, which included members of the band and the latter is a previously unreleased version of a song, which was originally included in the band’s debut album later in 2008, Give Me Metal Or Give Me Death.

It is rather hard to review this compilation without dividing it into three parts because every release presented within this compilation is different from the other, so here goes.


This 2005 EP is one of the greatest Epic Metal pieces ever done in Metal. The first thing that catches your attention is the production. If you favor a modern sound, it will be a bit hard on you because you will have to dig deeper in order to find the magic that is hidden within this particular vintage production. Skelator accustomed itself to the same elements of production, which were very common among British Metal bands in the early 1980s.

Secondly is the music. Skelator shows bright, professional and extraordinary form on writing pieces of music which are melodic, strong, diverse and interesting. Swords is like a refined NWOBHM with Speed Metal, tons of melodies and harmonies (of both guitars and bass) alongside crude speedy rhythms of the old age. Finally, there is the band’s vocalist, Jason Conde-Houston. After hearing this guy you will be speechless. If you wanted high-pitched screams – you got it, if you wanted raspy and maybe a bit growly – you got it again and if you didn’t expect the mild Black Metal thin growls in the mighty epos “The Wrath Of Odin’s Sons”  – you would be amazed to hear it also. If you did not know Mr. Houston, and his sky high vocal abilities, rest assured that he is one of the best vocalists in the worldly Metal scene. Sadly, that on the band’s split release he needs to fight for his role as a dominant singer because of production faults such as bad mastering.

Highlights from this release: ALL OF THEM!! This EP is a strong salute to Metal (check out “Heavy Metal Sacrifice” ( A Venom tribute salute) and “Death To The False”) alongside enchanting history lessons (“Time Of The Sword Rulers”, “The Coming Of Chaos” and “The Wrath Of Odin’s Sons”).  Be advised, there are Metal Vikings in the area.

The Gore Of War

The tracks from this split release also present Skelator’s high ability in writing; however, writing is not the issue surrounding Skelator’s share of this release. Whoever managed the production (mastering mostly) of the band’s songs, did not do quite a formidable job and the outcome was that some of the featured tracks were a bit ruined. If Mr. Houston, who has a rather thin voice without too much depth, is being filled with tons of reverb while being choked by the bass guitar – what is the point in that? Moreover, it is good that the bassist is more dominant, in comparison to Swords, nevertheless, it is much more noticeable than the guitars and maybe because of that, part of the solos sound weaker than others.  When the Skelator members recorded these tracks, they probably wanted to sound heavier than their previous results. Therefore, they went a bit modern, yet they still maintained the old flicks (melodies as such) from the past and did not lose the old enchantment.

Even though this one is less fulfilling than the previous release it still has great tracks in it like: “You Traveled Many Miles”, the instrumental “In Metal We Trust” and the smashing “Siege Of Gondor”.


The two songs presented on the remainder of the album are merely two pieces that will not do anything to change your impression of the band. Both suffer from mastering problems, which ruins their listening experience in a way. It is unknown why these two were enlisted to this release.

Time Of The Sword Rulers, like its name, marks Skelator’s time on breaking through the barriers and fighting for True Metal by releasing more albums. Their style and articulateness gave them huge advantage on other Metal acts. Check out their latest release, Give Me Metal Or Give Me Death on their website.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.