Battleroar - To death and beyond 4/5

Reviewed: 5-30-08


1. The wrathforge
2. Dragonhelm
3. Finis mundi
4. Metal from hellas
5. Hyrkanian blades
6. Oceans of pain
7. Born in the 70's
8. Warlord of Mars
9. Death before disgrace

There’s nothing unsuspected in the 3rd CD from these true metal warriors from Greece, and that’s by-and-large a good thing. The slight improvements and polish from their prior CDs are present but gradual, and they continue to pump out heavy metal with an epic and fantasy feel, with more of a doom influence (without really veering into that subgenre) than a happy power metal feel.

While Battleroar doesn’t sound quite like any other band, fans of Manowar, Iced Earth, Helstar, Omen, and more recently, Domine and Assedium, should find great satisfaction here. While they're not exactly Doomsword or Candlemass either, they're certainly not out of place with that style. The overriding effect is marching, martial metal, replete with riffs which are used to create an ominous, pulsing drive, but some nice leads mixed in with that somber battle processional. Vocalist Marco Congoreggi is solid, if unspectacular, and for this type of pure, heart-on-its-armor, the fact that he never grates or takes away from the song is a job well done, and it works well with the music. The production is well done, clear and strong, and not detracting from the feeling of the metal overall.

The lyrics are again blissful to one with my tastes, and the musical comparisons to Domine and Assedium continue with the libretto, as we have the obligatory but always welcome Elric chanson in “Dragonhelm”, and Robert Howard ode in “Hyrkanian blades”, and more general songs of war and wizardry throughout, with “Born in the 70's” standing out with a more unique take on the same overall feel.

The songs are well written and engaging, but not in a catchy, power metal way, and you won’t find choruses that jump too eagerly to mind, nor will you find an abundance of outright speed. But you will find the spirit of classic metal, epic fantasy, and martial glory in strong suit.




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