|Review: Battlerage - Steel Supremacy|
Label: Highland Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 13, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
This is a debut effort from Battlerage, a True Metal band from Chile, of all places. I had thought these guys would be from Italy or Greece, as this sort of stuff has become quite popular in the Hellenic part of the world, but Battlerage prove that the torch of real heavy fucking metal is burning everywhere.
I have to say I am very favorably impressed by this album. Rather than wallow in the Angra worship the South American scene seems often buried in, Battlerage are about stomping, shouting, crunching metal. Bands to think of would be Manowar, Wizard, or Paragon. They are obviously big Manilla Road fans, but despite the cover of "Necropolis" I don't hear much MR in their sound. They are too damned heavy for that, and in fact the heavy, slamming riffage is a major selling point on this CD. From the first skull-splitting riff of "Heavy Metal Axe" you know this is not going to be any flower metal here. Standout cuts include "Spawn Of Terror", "The Nameless One" and the shout-along "Battlerage". Some of the songs, like "The Cult Of Doom", are not as memorable, and the album does have some dead spots. But when Battlerage are kicking, they kick mightily. Vocalist Fox-Lin Torres is of the rough-but-tuneful school, sounding like a cross between Dio and Tann of Ironsword, and only on the otherwise excellent cover of "Necropolis" is his accent really noticeable. The vocal lines could be stronger, but the shout-along choruses rule.
The production is really excellent for a debut, especially for one from South America. Between the sharp and heavy production job and the cool cover art it's obvious the label spent some money on this recording. It takes some bands a decade to sound this good, and some never manage it. The lyrics are pretty good despite a language barrier, and I love the generally dark and aggressive themes – check that tracklist.
For True Metal fans this is a treat, and is certainly worth the effort to track it down. Battlerage don't seem to be getting much press, and that's a shame, as this is a worthy band I would love to hear more from. Here's to real heavy metal, long may it burn.
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