Tuesday 8 August 2017

Battalions - Moonburn (Album Review)

Release date: August 5th 2017. Label: Hull Noise Collective. Format: CD/DD

Moonburn – Tracklisting

1.Skin Job 03:40
2.Lotion Basket 02:58
3.Moonburn 04:08
4.God's Cuntry 03:25
5.Betrayal & Delusion 03:53
6.Amazonian Woman (feat. Sam Orr - 1968) 02:51
7.Another Meaning for Death 05:40

Band Members On This Album

Phil Wilkinson - Vocals
Matt Dennett - Bass
Matt Walker - Drums
Pete Cross - Guitar
Mark Wood - Guitar
Sam Orr - Guest Solo on Amazonian Woman


UK Sludge/Doom Metal Mob - Battalions - return with their second full length album - Moonburn. Recorded at Skyhammer Studios which is always a sign of great quality especially with Chris Fielding on board for this album. The album is loud, violent and harsh from the start with opening track – Skin Job - merging pulsating metallic grooves and angry hardcore punk based vibes with the heavier Doom/Sludge and even Thrash elements giving the band a well-rounded song. The vocals from Phil are precise and very direct as he chews his way through hardcore/metal growls though you can easily understand what he's singing about on each of the songs.

Second track - Lotion Basket - opens with a more modern hard rock/stoner sound with the band holding the aggression back for the first minute or so. The vocals are shouted towards you with superb confidence as Battalions create groovy and hard rocking riffs with an addictive edge. The music is played very fast and the band makes no apologies for doing so. The music can be very progressive in parts as they include many different elements of music on certain parts of the album.

Third track - Moonburn - is the standout track here with the band fusing modern sounding hard rock vibes with the sludgier and thrashier riffs. The music has a very cool balance between the more melodic parts and the angrier sludge/doom/stoner metal sounds. It's good to hear the band play a less aggressive style of music and focus more on melody.

This album sees Battalions having an early Kvelertak style sound especially with the melodic parts. This is still Battalions show and they impress throughout with their bombastic style of heavy addictive riffs. Fourth track – God's Cuntry - is another standout track on the album with the song starting off really slow before moving up a gear when the band plays heavier noises. The song has a party-like atmosphere. Or an intense moshpit style rhythm where everyone can lose control when the fast-paced moments appear.

The final three songs on the album - Betrayal & Delusion, Amazonian Woman and Another Meaning For Death - see the band add a Blackened Rock and Roll atmosphere to the proceedings. Vocals and riffs become slightly more aggressive as the band only have a few songs to prove once and for all their metal credentials. I say they have succeeded on every level as Moonburn is a raging slab of sludge rock fury.

I would have preferred if the album was on slightly longer as it doesn't even get passed the thirty minute mark. Other than that minor complaint, Battalions have created a hugely entertaining and superb debut album for you to listen to.

Words by Steve Howe

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