When I picked this album from our review pile (and it’s a big pile), I thought I recognised the name. We had a brief chat with them in 2018 in the runup to that year’s Metal Days festival where they were playing the second stage. And Death Cometh Upon Us was released at the tail of 2019, but was punted back into our mailbox more recently so I took a listen. And I’m very glad I did.
The whole album is an exercise in wonderfully heavy melodic death metal with an edge (courtesy of vocalist Axel Müller) of gothic or doom. Tracks range from the more melodic (“Serpents Amongst Us”) to the very heavy (“Ageless, I’m Reborn”) but are uniformly excellent. There’s never a dull moment throughout all ten of them and you should prepare your eardrums for the onslaught.
The band cite old In Flames, Arch Enemy or Amon Amarth as their influences and these shine through. Whereas those acts have perhaps moved on a little in sound with time, Battlesword are doing it like it used to be done, and have created a masterpiece of an album as a result. Often I listen to an album a couple of times before deciding whether to review it or not. I need to feel something, if I don’t then it’s difficult to draft anything to explain why you should (or shouldn’t) listen to it. No such problems with this one. By the time I was halfway through track 2, “Bloodmorning”, I knew this was something special.
Production is top notch as well. I particularly love the bass thrum of the larger toms towards the end of “Ageless, I’m Reborn” – they really rattled my ribcage!
Now I just want to wind the clock back to 2018 when we were allowed to meet in groups, and see them live again!
And Death Cometh Upon Us is out now – order it on Amazon and help support this site!