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Battalion - The fight for metal 3/5

Reviewed: 7-13-07


1. The fight for metal
2. Headbangers
3. The raven
4. Gods of metal
5. Through the night
6. Find our way
7. Stalingrad
8. Defenders
9. Headbangers (bonus track)

From looking at the cover artwork, you would think that this is death metal. Well, you'd be wrong, as Battalion's debut 'The fight for metal' is most certainly traditional power metal well embedded in the sound of the 80s. The band is from Switzerland, but draws influences from Iron Maiden, Running Wild, Omen, Ilium, Twisted Tower Dire, Pharaoh, Made of Iron and maybe even Bloodbound. Yeah, you get the idea, and there are definitely a lot more bands that could be added to the list of comparisons.

'The fight for metal' could've used a better production, but it's far from a bad sound that the band has come up with. There's a slightly raw feeling too, and at times I'm reminded of some of the heavier and really raw bands like Ironsword and Killingsworth. So envision a dash of these few bands with the aforementioned comparisons. Vocally, Silvan Etzensperger is somewhere in the middle; he's not as clear/smooth as, say, Bruce Dickinson, but he's not nearly as rough/gruff as the Ironsword and Killingsworth group either. Overall, I'd call him good, but there's no way he'll be remembered as one of the better vocalists in the style.

The CD has a scorching start, as the title-track is fast-paced and will definitely succeed at grabbing the attention of traditional power metal fans. Other highlights would be the melodic track 3 "The raven", catchy track 6 "Find our way" and memorable track 7 "Stalingrad", which slows down in the middle a la Iron Maiden. The one ballad (track 5 "Through the night") is decent, and the remainder of the tracks are all average to good. I should mention that the bonus track ("Headbangers") is a different version of track 2 and it contains death vocals.

This CD can best be described as solid or "above average" and it portrays a good amount of promise. Fans of traditional power metal and the mentioned bands will find this to be a worthwhile purchase, though I'm confident none of you will be blown away here. There really aren't any weaknesses however, the band just needs to polish their sound a bit and create a greater ratio of excellent songs over average songs. This is a style I've been into a lot lately, so I'm looking forward to a follow-up.




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