Battleaxe…the band name screams hard-hitting metal and the music lives up to the expectations it creates. Formed in the early 80’s in the area of Newcastle England, it is something I find pretty cool as I sit here in New Castle, Indiana, writing about them. The band had a series of ups and downs as one of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands. Luckily for all of us, original members Dave King (vocals) and Brian Smith (bass) along with Mick Percy (guitars) and Paul AT Kinson (drums) persevered and have delivered to us 2014’s Heavy Metal Sanctuary.
This album opens with King singing along to an organ prior to the title track hitting the accelerator and taking you straight to heavy metal church. Are you an AC/DC fanatic? If so, listen to the last track, “Romeo,” first and I guarantee you will be absolutely hooked on this album. Last on the album, it shines bright, but so do all the others, each in their own unique way: “Kingdom Come” with its smoky acoustic intro/outro, slow-groove dirty rocker Devil Calls, high pitched screamer Spirits Of The Fallen and the pulse quickening power rock of “Too Hot For Hell.” Yes, I left a few out as there are 12 tracks in all, but you get the idea, and if you don’t, here it is…THIS ALBUM KICKS YOUR ASS! Also, I really want to spend a minute and talk about one song in particular.
“A Prelude To Battle/The Legions Unite” is a fist pumping headbanger ranking right up there with the masterpiece that is Accept’s “Balls To The Wall.” This is one of those adrenaline injecting/fist pumping songs with Kings guttural/growling voice really showcased and coupled with a jarring riff that it makes you want to go out and fuck shit up. Now remember, I mean this in the sheer attitude of the song, so no going out and rioting. That being said, this is the first song that I have ever listened to that really makes me imagine looking through the lead singers eyes, standing upon the stage looking out over a vast turbulent sea of bodies writhing to and fro at my every direction like a cobra to a flute. If you didn’t pick up on it, this is by far my favorite song on the album, if not one of my all time favorites.
I find myself listening to this album over and over and over, discovering something new each time. With its AC/DC-meets-Accept sound, this album is loud and electrifying throughout. Guitar heavy with blistering solos, massive sounding in rhythm/percussion, screaming vocals, all culminating into catchy hooks and riffs, if there isn’t something here for you, you should not be listening to metal at all. This is a true reminder of why I began to love heavy metal way back when.
Link: Official Site