Review Summary: Modern, raw thrash metal from Norway with perfect execution and an industrial-esque taste in its songs.
* Sigurd "Siggy" Olaisen - Lead Vocals (Headblock)
* Frode Glesnes - Guitar & Vocals (ex-Einherjer, ex-Beelzebub , ex - Angelgrinder )
* Aksel Herløe - Guitar (ex-Einherjer)
* Gerhard Storesund - Drums (ex-Einherjer, ex-Beelzebub ,ex - Angelgrinder )
* Ole Moldesæther - Bass (Headblock)
Battered is a band that you most likely haven't heard about, and probably would never have if not for this review. Well, how to put it. For most of average metal fans this will definitely be an "ok" album, but for die-hard of raw, heavy and brutal thrash metal this will be quite a treat, lemme tell you. That's what this album is: raw, brutal, fast and heavy classical thrash metal. Very, very similar to giants like Kreator and Slayer, although sometimes equalling Kreator with melodicity and surpassing Slayer with complexity (which is not too difficult to accomplish to begin with, duh). I'm not going to make the most common reviewer's mistake and criticize this album for not being innovative. This is thrash metal for hell's sake, so what's the point in saying "these guys don't break any new ground here" or something on that note? Thrash metal is not about breaking new ground, but about sounding heavy, relentless and pleasant, and this album surely manages to pull this off.
The guitar hooks are quite creative, although I bet that You, the Thrash Metal Fan have heard them numerous times in other bands' songs. The melodies (whenever they're pronounced) are rather depressing and dark, which combined with the deep crimson of the album's cover gives somewhat of an industrial vibe to this album (not saying it's industrial per se - it has no industrial elements whatsoever, just creates such a vibe). The drumming is first class, with a strong emphasis on double bass. Both of Storesund's kickdrums are busy most of the time, and his fills are very fulfilling. The vocalist Siggy has a nice voice - his shouting is still clearly thrash metal, but doesn't sound daddy-esque like Petrozza's (Kreator) or Araya's (Slayer), but instead sounds more like a pissed off industrial fan youngster, and maybe that's what gives this band that industrial vibe.
As for the songs, they're all fast and heavy so the highlights of this album will be based on the listener's preference of the riffs. My personal favorites are the opening track, "Oblivion Awaits", track number four, "Not One" (this one has a music video made for it), and the album closer, "Derelict" - the only song with a somewhat slowed down tempo and showcasing Siggy's clean vocals. The songs are pretty much the same stuff all over again, well, it's thrash metal. Not saying that this gets boring quickly, because some of the riffs are really catchy and each song stands on its own as a musical piece. Overall, I recommend this album to anyone who likes good thrash metal, also to fans of industrial, because of the album's post-apocalyptic feel and whatnot.
Pros of the album:
- 10 good songs of raw, in-your-face thrash
- Good use of guitars, drums, and vocals
- Clear production
Cons of the album:
- Relative redundance
- May take time to grow on you
Overall, I feel this album deserves 8/10, considering it's a debut album and all. And it really is up to par with the genre's giants.