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Review: Battleaxe - Power from the Universe
Power from the Universe

Label: Music For Nations
Year released: 1984
Duration: 37:45
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: May 18, 2018
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (5 Votes)

Back in the early 80s, a friend and I were on the prowl for new metal and one day we came across the U.K.'s Battleaxe in the import bin. He grabbed the copy of Burn This Town, because it had a cool, if amateurish, warrior on a motorcycle on the cover. That left me with the band's second album and its lame cover with the four dudes from the band reaching for a smoky light. Ah well, turns out I scored the better album as Power from the Universe remains one of my favorite NWOBHM albums and one I still break out today.

Like a lot of their contemporaries, Battleaxe were as much a hard rock band as they were metal and tracks like "License to Rock" and "Over the Top" have the same melodic, catchy riffs and simply lyrics of AC/DC and KISS. Since those were gateway bands for me, that probably explains why I like Power from the Universe so much. But that's not all. When they wanted to, the lads from Battleaxe could crank up the power and the speed with the best of them. "Chopper Attack" takes on the heavier topic of war (in easily digestible fashion, to be sure) and possesses a great, staccato chorus, "Fortune Lady" starts out rather pensive and slow before peaking with some Fast Eddie Clarke-style lead work but it's the title track that always gets me. "Power from the Universe" was easily one of the fastest songs I'd heard up until that point. The main riff just blazes along, carrying the vocals as they sing about decidedly non-metal (for 1984 anyway) topics like neutron stars and supernovas. I'm pretty sure this is where my love for speedy power metal started.

Battleaxe is still kicking around and released a decent album in 2014 (Heavy Metal Sanctuary), but I'll always have a special place for Power from the Universe in my black heart. They may never have risen to be a top-tier NWOBHM band, but this album is well worth checking out for fans of that movement and melodic heavy metal/hard rock in general.

More about Battleaxe...
Interview with bassist Brian Smith and vocalist Dave King on February 20, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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