BATTLEROAR - Age Of Chaos 2-LP (Black Vinyl)

BATTLEROAR - Age Of Chaos 2-LP (Black Vinyl)

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This was one of the releases I was awaiting most eagerly. I loved Battleroar's debut album to death, and they could not get this one out soon enough for me. But as much as I hoped for with this album, the guys from Athens have surpassed it. "Age Of Chaos" is the true metal album of the year, and a major coup for everyone involved.

If you heard Battleroar's last album, then you know what to expect here: epic, tolling true metal that never goes too fast, but never slows down into real Doom territory either. Battleroar have their own distinct sound that draws on influences from Manilla Road to Cirith Ungol, but isn't really strongly reminiscent of anyone. Their debut was full of fun crunchers like "Swordbrother" and "Egyptian Doom", but was kept from being classic by a mediocre production job and slightly restrained performances. All that is fixed this time out, and "Age Of Chaos" sounds huge, without sounding modern. I expected that this band would get a better recording the second time out, what I did not expect was the huge leap in songwriting.

Speaking of Manilla Road, when a band opens their album with a four-minute acoustic ballad written and sung by Mark Shelton, it tells you two things: they are serious MR fans, and they have big frigging balls. I'm sure lots of people will scratch their heads over that one, but for 'Road fans, hearing Mark the Shark sing the titular line in his magic croon is just a treat. No other voice evokes forgotten times and mystic places so well as his.