Battleroar - To Death and Beyond ...
Cruz Del Sur Music
Epic Traditional Metal
9 songs (59'06")
Release year: 2008
Battleroar, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

On tap for a debate statement of the week - the time when you get into metal and geography where you lived at that time would influence your taste for as long as you like heavy music. Sure, your preferences may evolve and you are bound to discover new styles along the way, but the weakness towards your “roots” will remain forever.

I got into metal in the very early 80s living in Ukraine, so traditional and classic metal is something which would always twinge a weak muscle in my heart. The sound of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Manowar would always bring back memories of school buddies who swore for metal until the end, times we spent together, tapes and LPs we exchanged. So, when I hear a relatively young band kick off dust from the “old book” of traditional metal my ears perk up. I will let it rip if somebody is making a lousy parody of my childhood heroes, but I will be shaken and easily swayed with positive sentiment if they do a commendable job.

Fortunately, Greece’s Battleroar deliver a good one on To Death and Beyond …, their third full-length and the first on Italian Cruz Del Sur label, the outfit which knows a thing or two about a good heavy metal band. I haven’t heard anything by Battleroar before which makes me absolutely unprejudiced towards their not-so-original traditional metal style excessively drenched in epicness. Yup, some To Death and Beyond … compositions are as grand and over-the-top as they come, call them Greek young Manowar reincarnation. Rousing anthem opener The Wrathforge with its war drums beating, killer main melody and Iced Earth galloping triplets ought to make anybody run into battle, banners firmly unfurled. On many an occasion, the Greeks add on the sensitive touch to their muscle wound physique, “to fallen soldiers” intro of Finis Mundi coupled with the song’s clearly Mediterranean style acoustics, and quivering outro of Oceans of Pain finally bringing the song to its metallic end, being the prime examples. It’s all good by me if the riffs, courtesy of guitarists Kostas Tzortzis and Manolis Karazeris, are as good as the winning closer Death Before Disgrace. I would not even care much if Manilla Road, Iced Earth and Jag Panzer, the latter especially on mid-tempo grumble Hyrkanian Blades, are amply referenced on To Death and Beyond …

Vocalist Marco Concoreggi is no Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin in terms of clarity of his high notes, but there is able power inside these pipes and chest, so the rough’n’gruff delivery, sometimes a little off-key, only add to the flavor. Polish is not what I think Battleroar needs. On the other hand, some songs sound, on the whole, a lot less convincing than the better tracks of the album. Silly gang vocals chanting the title of Dragonhelm in the chorus, homey pick Metal from Hellas with a little too much guitar noodling and appropriately titled, nostalgic, but failing to reach me on any level, Born in the 70s (and 1970 is when I showed up in this world) are the less stellar album’s moments. Interestingly enough, the album’s longer tracks are its best.

Not for the broadest of audiences, Battleroar defends the realm of epic metal well. They may not be the best songwriters, yet, but some of their compositions etch onto the certain areas of my brain crust, so next time I am having some oldies friends over I’d play them The Wrathforge opening sequence. I wish Battleroar well, if only to proudly carry the flag of all those Greek and otherwise bands who almost fell a victim to the untimely and unfortunate demise of Black Lotus label, the organization dedicated to letting the world know that Greek heavy metal was to be reckoned with.

Killing Songs :
The Wrathforge, Finis Mundi, Oceans of Pain, Death Before Disgrace
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Battleroar that we have reviewed:
Battleroar - Blood of Legends reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Battleroar - Age of Chaos reviewed by Mike and quoted 69 / 100
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