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Review: Battlerage - Blood, Fire, Steel
Blood, Fire, Steel

Label: Metal on Metal Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 50:49
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: December 23, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Blood, Fire, Steel

Rated 3.86/5 (77.14%) (21 Votes)

I have been waiting a long time for this album, and there were times I thought I would never get it, even if it was released, as Battlerage discs are famously hard to find in the US. But here, at last, I have the follow-up album to the killer Steel Supremacy. I was expecting a furious, epic assault of True Metal mastery, and I wasn't far wrong.

If there's a failing here, it's that this album is good, but not awesome. After such a long wait, I was expecting Battlerage to have really stepped up their game, and it must be said this is faster and more aggressive than Steel Supremacy, but it lacks something of the epic edge that I was hoping for. This is more Painkiller than Crystal Logic, with a sharp, clean guitar sound that hits like a sledgehammer, powering fast, direct riffing that chugs like a locomotive on searing tracks like opener "The Devil's Wings Bring Fire From Hell" and "Battlefield Belongs to Me". Things slow down for "The Blind Dead", which is frankly pretty boring, as the riffs have no melody or progression to them, they just thug repetitively. "Black Hordes Arise" and "Wine of the Wicked" are both satisfyingly heavy but a bit faceless, lacking any really solid vocal hooks. "Warmachine" fucking kills, raises the dead, and then kills again, and closer "True Metal Victory" is cheesy, but also a heavy-assed stomp with a singable chorus.

This is a solid metal album, but I miss the melodic edge and more epic style of the material on their demos and debut. This album is like a stripped-down, copped and lowered Battlerage: more aggressive, faster, but lacking the subtlety I hoped for. Blood, Fire, Steel is a fist-smashing heavy metal good time that fans of the style should not miss.

Other related information on the site
Review: Dreams in Darkness (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Steel Supremacy (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Slaughter Returns (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: True Metal Victory (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Francisco Vera (drums) on February 2, 2010 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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