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The Son of Odin

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Album Review

With its equal-opportunity blend of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal's youthful spunk and the older guard's trad-metal values, Elixir's self-financed debut album, The Son of Odin, contained all of the hallmarks of British heavy metal during the early '80s. The only problem was that it arrived in record stores (and not too many of them, one might add) a little later — in 1986, by which time thrash and speed metal were ruling the roost, and a large portion of this London five-piece's creative devices had been rendered at best quaint, at worst archaic. Indeed, many LP standouts like "The Star of Beshaan," "Pandora's Box," and "Dead Man's Gold" emulate the characteristic galloping riffs, twin-guitar harmonies, anthemic choruses, and fantastical lyrics popularized by Iron Maiden five years earlier (see also the "Losfer Words"-like instrumental "Chariot of the Gods"). Perhaps even more dating was the title track's epic sweep, which, thanks to vocalist Paul Taylor's soaring, sustained notes, recalled Gary Moore's 1983 vintage metal classic "Victims of the Future." Any way you sliced it, Elixir were a band out of time and The Son of Odin a commercial non-entity — dead on arrival, as it were. If there's any small comfort to be had, its that they, like equally talented but belated N.W.O.B.H.M. followers such as Cloven Hoof and Chariot, have since achieved some measure of cult popularity among dedicated '80s heavy metal cognoscenti.

The Son of Odin, Elixir
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