Released: 2010, Dark Essence Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Batallion – this relentlessly raging and filthy sounding 4-piece blackened Thrash Metal act comes from Bergen, Norway – consisting of some known musicians from both disbanded and currently existing Norwegian metal forces such as Old Funeral, Grimfist, Borknagar and so on, have unleashed their 2nd album, HEAD UP HIGH.
On HEAD UP HIGH The Batallion basically throw the basics of raw and dirty old-school Metal elements on the table – sounding as a Metal band that has baptized their swords in deep waters of ´80s-flavored NWOBHM Thrash and Black Metal. You can try to imagine melting such acts as Venom, Raven and Deströyer 666 into one piece, then giving it all some extra NWOBHM colors – and you pretty much have The Batallion´s vicious beats raging around the places, and destroying them to little pieces.
A great thing about this record is, it somehow always urges you to grab on it – time after time, like you would never get enough of its old-school, strongly ´80s-tinged charm that´s been wrapped tightly around it. The UK´s finest noisemakers and grave desecrators Venom have obviously left its deepest marks of the beast into everything what The Batallion represents musically on HEAD UP HIGH – and who of us wouldn´t adore Venom as they surely brought more filthiness and rawness into the Heavy Metal music during the eighties than any other bands at that time.
HEAD UP HIGH is shamelessly about rehashing worn-out ideas and clichés of some 80´s Metal sub-genres, but should we care about it that much after all if the enjoyment one gets out, if at all, is nothing sort of spine-tingling and tempting thoroughly? The Batallion does things right on their 2nd full-length studio album HEAD UP HIGH, counting pretty much on the notebooks of their longtime heroes – and it works great for them. 4 heavy horns (or heads) up for them for this achievement. This is a kick-ass release in my humble opinion.