It's been a minute since this album dropped, but believe you me that I was trollin the nets for a leak. I can't tell you how stoked on this band I am. But like any good band, a few listens wouldn't do and I needed time to mull it over.
First off, how is it that everyone and their mother has heard of similar sounding bands like Inepsy (I mean Canada, really?), but every time I mention The Batallion I'm met with blank stares? Here's a Norwegian band that despite their credentials, seem to slide in under the radar and get almost no attention. You got guys from Old Funeral (!), Taake, and Borknagar among others. Now if you haven't heard all those bands, you need to go back to school and do your homework! This is a real super group if there ever was one. Born and bred black metalers, they've totally abandoned the scene (which gets stale by the minute) and traded in their chips for a more pure heavy metal Motorhead-worshipping sound. There are few bands who are able to recapture this sound without sounding like a cheesy caricature or totally disposable and redundant.
The thing you gotta love about super groups is their propensity to not give a fuck-all about what anyone thinks. They've been through the mill and have seen some shit. The fact that these veterans are still standing is a thing in of itself and a good super group knows not to devolve into a wank-fest circle jerk. Enter Head Up High's first track "Watch My Step"- the official middle finger in your face. It sets the tone for the whole album with a "Bang your head or get the fuck outta the way!" They know it's a sophomore album and people usually sweat that kinda thing, but they seem to not give a fuck about what anyone thinks. I like that in a band. I can't say this album's as good as their instant classic of a debut Stronghold Of Men, but it's definitely up there and there's something new I hear on each listen so far. Check them both out and decide for yourself.
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