Elegant Weapons : Horns For A Halo – Review

Elegant Weapons : Horns For A Halo – Review

22nd May 2023 0 By Kevin McCallum

So here we have it, the hotly awaited 10-track album release from Elegant Weapons on the Nuclear Blast Records label.

‘Horns For A Halo’ was delivered with a class from some high-quality musicians forming this supergroup. On Lead Vocals Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, MSG), Guitar duties from Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest), on Bass Rex Brown (Pantera, Down), and Drums from Scott Travis (Judas Priest). Duties behind the desk are covered by long-term production expert Andy Sneap, who also doubles as Judas Priest’s touring guitar player.

The opening track  ‘Dead Man Walking’ sets the scene for these guys. The big guitar sounds coupled with Ronnie’s power vocals deliver a catchy chorus. Makes you want to sit up, adjust your seat and get your ears ready to take notice of what’s about to come.

The band has released two singles from the album, the latest beingDo or Die. Kicks off with power guitar work from Richie, the song has a fast tempo which you’ll love throughout this album.

‘Blind Leading The Blind’ is up next, Ronnie’s sharp vocals on this one pull you back and forth. This was the first single release from the album, allowing the band to tip their collective hats on what was to follow.

Where it started for the album was during the pandemic, when most of the songs were recorded. The band officially announced their intentions in October 2022, with a changed lineup for touring, bringing in Davey Rimmer (Uriah Heep ) on Bass and Chris Williams (Accept) on Drums.

Great project here from Richie Faulkner, considering it’s less than two years since his well-reported stage Aortic Aneurysm whilst performing with Judas Priest, from which he’s now thankfully recovered.

The 4th track slows the pace right down, ‘Ghost of You’. Re-iterates how talented Ronnie is as a vocalist, moody, bluesy direction on this one. One of my albums favorites.

‘Bitter Pill’ opens you up again to the power rock, has a grungy feel to it, and also echoes in bits to the style of Dio era Sabbath. All the band expertly pulls you back and forth on this one, another album favorite. If your head isn’t bopping to this one, then you’re missing something.

I didn’t expect a cover on the album, but if you’re going to do it, Richie, then pick a belter. ‘Lights Out’ was originally recorded by UFO. I’ve heard Ronnie do it justice live with MSG, but the band has done a good job here. It’s different, much heavier, and complements the album well with great powerful guitar work from Richie.

The title track ‘ Horns For A Halo’ is up next. Has some fairly tough-to-execute but excellent Ozzy-era Sabbath guitar work, a big drum sound from Scott and Ronnie sitting on top of it, quality track.

Having got so far in the review, I only hope that the band can hit the road and play this album live, it deserves it. Can’t recall many new releases in recent times that I’d consider that all the songs would translate well to a live setting whether open-air or indoors, this one hits the proverbial mark.

We’re at track 8 with ‘Dirty Pig’, by now you know the quality you’re getting. Throughout ‘Horns For A Halo’ there’s been great lyric writing underscored with exceptional musicians, this one directs you down the same road but is edgier.

I’m loving the Hammond organ intro to ‘White Horse’,  has Richie’s best guitar work on the album, keeps you enthused as to what’s coming next, good vocal range from Ronnie as required. This song pulls you back and forward, up and down, and sideways. Great track.

Album closer ‘Downfall Rising’, there are always thoughts about keeping the best to last, or getting the best up front, it has everything this one. Clearly defined aura around the song fast/slow, light/dark, grungy/crisp, as well as behind it quality Bass speed rotation from Rex throughout.

In terms of quality, you get 53 minutes’ worth of power-heavy rock/heavy metal from Elegant Weapons and ‘Horns For A Halo’.

To set the scene…imagine you’re given a cake mix with Sabbath/Accept/Judas Priest/Metallica/early Uriah Heep/ as your ingredients, you know it’s going to taste good, right?

Score 8.5/10


1. Dead Man Walking
2. Do Or Die
3. Blind Leading The Blind
4. Ghost Of You
5. Bitter Pill
6. Lights Out
7. Horns For A Halo
8. Dirty Pig
9. White Horse
10. Downfall Rising

Label – Nuclear Blast
Release –
26th May 2023

For all things Elegant Weapons, click HERE, and to purchase the album, click HERE

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