England's Battleaxe history dates to the rise of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the early Eighties. They have the distinction of being one of the first bands to be signed to the significant, but now defunct, label Music For Nations. Success for the band was both expected and fleeting back in the day. Personnel changes took it's toll as did the changing music climate, and by the end of the Eighties, Battleaxe was done. But only to rise again in the 21st century.
Yet, like soldiering through the Eighties, creating the album, Heavy Metal Sanctuary, was a long hard road. It's mostly a DIY project, with recording done in band member's own studios, and with little financial backing. Sounds familiar: there's not much difference between 1984 and 2014, for struggling bands. This album took nearly four years to come together.
But it was worth it. Besides now having label support, Battleaxe offers a rich platter of classic heavy and power metal, and like many from back in the day, the recent from UK's Sparta comes to mind, they make it sound fresh and invigorating. You get the best of what traditional 'true' metal always offered: lots of metal riffage, over good melodies, with strong vocals and oodles of rippin' guitar solos. You'll find some straight heavy metal with the title track, Shock and Awe, and Spirits of the Fallen, Battleaxe can bump up the speed as with the catchy Too Hot For Hell. Like most bands in this tradition, Battleaxe isn't afraid to get their rock groove going. Give It More, Devil Calls, and Romeo have the swagger of hard rock, with a metal edge, to get your toe tapping as you bang your head. That first song, Give It More, may sound like an AC/DC song to some as vocalist David King can sometimes sound like a mix of Bon Scott and Udo. Overall, Battleaxe's Heavy Metal Sanctuary is rather strong stuff, engaging classic heavy/power metal, which will likely give those former tape traders fond memories of the glory days. Recommended.
Battleaxe's Heavy Metal Sanctuary is rather strong stuff, engaging classic heavy/power metal, which will likely give those former tape traders fond memories of the glory days.
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