It's 1983 all over again. Or somewhere close to that point in heavy metal time. Just check out Katana's wardrobe of choice. Then take a wormhole back in time and you'll find these boys in the arena parking lot, getting juiced for the Iron Maiden gig. Didn't somebody tell these youngsters the should be playing some kind of modern metal mixed with hardcore. Obviously not.
Storms of War finds Katana cutting, without apology I might add, another swatch of classic heavy metal. The buttons on their denim checks read Saxon, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and other kindred spirits. Their style channels the same with a galloping spirit of traditional power metal. It's rather epic and inspired, if not only a little nostalgic. But there's nothing wrong with that, when you get the music right.
Katana has easily secured a place in the vanguard of the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal. Confirmation comes with spins of Wrath of the Emerald Witch, City on the Edge of Forever, The Wisdom of Edmonds Field, and the massive and brilliant In the Land of the Sun. The speed is quick, but not necessarily relentless or punishing. It's tempered by melodic lead, heavy metal, vocals and twin guitars offering feisty solos.
Yet, even as described, some might find the entire disc repetitive and be dismissive. But noting the subtleties at the beginning of In the Land of the Sun or the UFO/Schenker-like breakdown in the Wisdom of Edmonds Field, and you'll think differently. If Katana pursues this creativity and variation, they will channel both early and modern, more progressive, Iron Maiden. And that's all good. Storms of War is a damn fine album of classic heavy/power metal. Easily recommended.
Katana's Storms of War is a damn fine album of classic heavy/power metal, echoing the giants of the past. Easily recommended.
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