Thursday, March 6, 2014

Battery - Armed With Rage - Album Review

Year: 2014

Whenever you meet a fan of thrash metal and ask that person what his / her favourite album is, there is a very high chance that the person will name an album from the 80’s. If there is one thing to be learnt from this, it is that the best way to do thrash metal is the old school way. This is a fact that many of the modern thrash bands seem to understand and very often, they’re seen trying to emulate that old school thrash sound. But then again, there are only a few modern thrash bands that seem to be capable of truly evoking the 80’s thrash spirit. Judging by their debut album, Battery from Denmark is a band that both understands the old school ideology and is also successful in imitating it.

‘Armed with Rage’ is the band’s debut album released on 24th February 2014, through Punishment 18 Records. The title of the album is quite an accurate descriptor of the band’s sound. All ten tracks on this album sound like the band is seething with rage. The stripped down, minimalistic song writing and the high tempos, make the songs sound all the more angry.

This album would fit comfortably amongst any of the thrash albums released in the later part of the 1980’s. Everything about this record reeks with the old school flavour. The riffs in the songs tend to remind one about the old school greats along the lines of Destruction, Nuclear Assault and even Denmark’s very own Artillery.

Variations among the riffs, give each track a different identity, though the similar tempos of the songs might put off some of the listeners at first. An essential aspect for the success of a thrash record is the chemistry between the lead and rhythm guitarists, which in this case works well between Jeppe Campradt and Chris Steel. There are a few tasty solos among the tracks which make for some solid headbanging fun.

Andreas Joen does a steady job behind the drum kit, but a little change in the tempo would have helped the songs in being more memorable. Jannick Nielsen’s bass work is very audible in the mix and the bass lines have a nice groove to them. The vocals, done by Chris Steel are the usual shouts with the backing gang chants, that is so typical of thrash metal bands.

The production is another factor which helps to bring out the old school flavour in this album. It is a wise decision on the band’s part on opting to not go for a clean job. Though this album is a 38 minute fun fest, the band doesn’t bring anything new to the table. But then again, it is the case of almost every band in the genre these days.

Pick up this record and throw it on the next time you feel like thrashing out with beer. You will not be disappointed.

Rating: 83%

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