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Review: Category VI - War is Hell
Category VI
War is Hell

Label: Killer Metal Records
Year released: 2017
Duration: 46:40
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: June 29, 2017
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.71/5 (74.29%) (7 Votes)

I had been completely charmed by Category VI's debut record a few years back, so I was pleased for the chance to write about their sophomore effort. If you've yet to hear the band, then we're looking at some prime U.S. power metal with an old school slant.

"Strike of the Axe" delivers unto us Category VI's brand of metal circa 2017, with a godly guitar tone breaking through some atmospheric foreshadowing for a fist-banging anthem. Amanda Gosse's vocals command the punchy arrangements contained with a powerful, reverb kissed below, which absolutely does the job. I love the crooning adorning "Full Metal Jacket", giving me some sweet nostalgic vibes, though I can't pinpoint on what it may remind of. Nonetheless the vocals are a highlight throughout, and I'd say a step up from Fireborn.

Musically this is for the most part blazing, and performed in stellar fashion. There's plenty of riffs to sink your teeth into, complete with tasteful battery, and some raunchy bass lines although on the subject of bass I did feel some of the more flamboyant, effect-powered parts to be detrimental. but give me out their bass over inaudible bass any day. Rippers like "Mirror" and the aforementioned "Full Metal Jacket" outclass anything on the last album, so I'd say Category VI succeeded in writing a superior follow up.

If you dig acts like Seven Kingdoms, Mindmaze, or Helion Prime, then I'd call this a no brainer although Category VI do separate themselves from their contemporaries with a more pugilistic edge, and a lethal injection of classic metal attitude which would call to mind Judas Priest or Mercyful Fate. Overall a solid record. You could do far worse than check this out.

More about Category VI...
Review: Fireborn (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Firecry (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Firecry (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Geoff Waye (guitars) Amanda Gosse (vocals), and Keith Jackman (bass) on July 17, 2017 (Interviewed by Christopher Foley)
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