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Review: Battlerage - The Slaughter Returns
The Slaughter Returns

Label: Metal on Metal Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 59:22
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: December 22, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Slaughter Returns

Rated 3.56/5 (71.25%) (16 Votes)

After a solid debut with Steel Supremacy back in 2004, Battlerage kind of vanished due to label problems. They managed the Battlefield Belongs to Me EP in '06, but that was it for a long time, and hell, that EP was impossible to get anyway. Now with the promising Metal on Metal label, Battlerage makes a roaring return. This is not a new album, but a remastered and remixed compilation of their old demos Metal Slaughter and Return of the Axeman. It slays.

Battlerage are all about primal True Metal ass-kicking in the vein of old Manowar or Omen, and this disc is a feast for the old-fashioned metalhead. Crunching riffs, blazing leads, and the Dio-with-balls vocal stylings of Fox-Lin Torres. A lot of this is at a galloping midpace, with great cuts like "Grind Their Bones", "Dark Arrival of Powers Malign", "Black Riders of Destruction". Fuck, this thing just never lets up, and even the less-great songs are still kickass. Remastered demo seems to be about the perfect sound for this band, as the guitar sound is hairy and punishingly heavy, the bass is a thunderous rumble, and the drums kill. This kind of band needs a fierce, underground recording job to bring out the best in their work. Normally I am not much for comps, but this one is actually far superior to the band's debut album.

The presentation of this disc is really first rate, and I have never seen a release this high-quality outside of a Sentinel Steel release. The cover art is killer, the lyrics are all included, and you get a twenty-page booklet authored by drummer/sole songwriter Francisco Vera detailing the history of the band and the origins of each song. The packaging alone is worth the price of the CD, but I would not want to miss the True Metal slayage of this disc for anything. Do not miss this.

Other related information on the site
Review: Blood, Fire, Steel (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Dreams in Darkness (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Steel Supremacy (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: True Metal Victory (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Francisco Vera (drums) on February 2, 2010 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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