|Review: Battleroar - To Death and Beyond...|
|To Death and Beyond...|
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: April 28, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:To Death and Beyond...
Oh how I have been waiting for this one. I have been a Battleroar fan from the beginning, and their subsequent masterwork Age Of Chaos cemented them in place as one of the best Epic True Metal bands in the world. I hoped that their third album would be their best yet, and while it has a few small flaws, it is still the work of a band at the very height of their powers, and a True Metal landmark for the new age.
The first thing that strikes you is that this is the best production Battleroar have ever had, with a guitar sound capable of crushing skulls in the caverns of Saturn. This time, Battleroar have let it all hang out, and produced the most sprawling and huge songs in their entire history. More than forty minutes of the running time on this monster is made up of 5 huge epics in the 9-11 minute range, and these are the real meat of the album. "The Wrathforge" will pull you in with its jaw-dropping heaviness and the sheer exhilarating catchiness of the riffing, but it's not even the best song here. You'd think the magnificent "Finis Mundi" would take that palm, or the huge "Oceans Of Pain", but really, the centerpiece is the closing powerhouse of "Death Before Disgrace", which is so good that right now — just thinking about it — I get chills. It is the best song this band has ever written, though "Finis Mundi" is damned close.
There are lesser songs here, though only by comparison. "Dragonhelm" is the weakest one, but "Metal From Hellas", "Hyrkanian Blades", and "Warlord Of Mars" all rule mightily. The only tune here I actually don't like is "Born In The 70's", which isn't a bad song, but the lyrics are so goofy they really slap me out of the brooding, serious mood of the rest of the album. But I can't let that one song derail the rest of this disc, which is metal so true it transcends almost all the expectations I had for this band. Battleroar continue to make leaps and bounds in their songwriting, and there remains no limit to their powers when they put it all together. Another monstrously powerful album from the best band in Greece. Do not miss it.
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