|Battalion - Welcome To The Warzone
15 April 2008
01. Mechanized Blitzkrieg
02. Cracks Of My Coffin
03. Ten-Thousand-Corpse Ditch
04. Throne Of Lies
05. Blunt Force Trauma
06. Curb Stomp
07. Verdun Meat Grinder
08. Radiation Holocaust
09. Opening The Blastdoors To Hell
10. Mass Incinerator
Old School Death Metal
Recorded: CCR Studios, Belgium 2007/2008
Label: Shiver Records
Total Running Time: 42:14
Shiver Records is one of the biggest Belgian labels, which is actually a joint venture between the LSP Company (the Belgian Metalzone shops are a division of LSP) and the deathmetal.be webzine. Important for you to know is that Shiver Records exclusively sings with Belgian metal bands. So in the near future I will be introducing ya'all to some of Belgium's finest metal.
This time I need to start my review with the following captivating one-liner: Battalion really has a Bolt Thrower affair going on. Now you already know on beforehand what to expect: pure rudimentary, old school death metal.
Battalion should hopefully ring a bell for the Belgian readers, as the band has been playing on a lot of events recently; they are practically included with the stage equipment every time a metal fest is being held, so to say. "Welcome To The Warzone" is only the second colossus of this four-headed squad, who have joined forces under the moniker Battalion at the end of 2001.
As you might have guessed "Welcome To The Warzone" is mostly an army and warlike lyric-based album, but according to the band there is also room for medical horrors, religious oppression and gangland riots. That's totally sweet of course. Though more important for me on these kind of albums are the mid paced aggression, the merciless riffing and the pounding and tight drumming, ditto double bass kicks and massive blasts. And that's about all you'll find on this record. Apart from some exceptions being both and a lot being none, there always has been a clear difference in death metal between bands being skilled and bands being technical. Now that they have delivered "Welcome To The Warzone", Battalion can certainly be classified as a skilled band. Especially the vocalist of the band, Ruben Luts, does an excellent performance, providing a wide range of brutal grunts and this with staying understandable about the whole time. Only for that, Battalion deserve to be in my good book.
Throughout the whole album, the band is unsurprisingly as creative and varying as they are non-repetitive. But that never really has been a major issue when it comes to pieces of fine old school death metal, especially when the band knows what they're doing and play their stuff with a lot of class, as is also the case with Battalion. Besides, the relative shortness of the album also prevents possible fits of boredom. All in all this is a massive death metal boulder, and if you dig this kind of death metal, you'll need a huge drill before getting through this baby.
Be sure to make some time for Battalion's new album in the next few weeks when you're spinning the new Grave and Hail Of Bullets copies over and over again, because these guys should in no way be inferior to the aforementioned death metal crushers. To pretty much say it all: this is a pretty enjoyable death metal album, though don't expect to be blown away by one specific song. And before you start wondering, the song "Blunt Force Trauma" is unfortunately not a Dying Fetus cover, it's not even some Damageplan cover. A missed opportunity is what this reporter thinks.