Battlesword - Failing in Triumph
Neon Knights Records
Death Metal
10 songs (37:42)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Jay

When I first decided to review this album, I was expecting music that sounded like Rhapsody. With a name like Battlesword, I expected high-pitched vocals and galloping drums, speedy riffs and orchestral arrangements. Boy was I surprised when I heard death metal. It shows you cannot judge a book by its cover or in this case, a band by its name. So, with an open mind, I listened to Battlesword’s debut album “Failing in Triumph.” It is a good first attempt but is flawed on several levels. The first level being monotony. I have listened to this album a good deal and I have trouble distinguishing the songs. There are common riffs that are shared by several songs. The band needs to work on variations in the music. The songwriting capacity is there. It needs to be exploited in the future to produce a more varied sound that doesn’t get boring.

Sounding like what Bal Sagoth would sound like without keyboards, Battlesword grunts, grinds and pulverizes through nine tracks of pure German death metal. The first track entitled “Chapter II” oddly enough brings up shades of early In Flames with a much harder and aggressive vocalist. However, the technical skills of Jesper Stromblad are not present here. Bjorn and Micha can shred, but that’s about all. While Anders Frieden’s voice is not stereotypically death metal, it is different and interesting. Patrick’s voice is what you would expect from some old school Kreator or Destruction. “Baptized in Fire” is the next song and has a riff nearly identical to the song preceding it. This is a running theme on the album. The drum work is pretty good on this song and it has a nice breakdown section towards the middle where there is some nice soloing. “This Silent Night” could be an early Skyfire demo sans keyboards. It has one of the more memorable riffs but again falls into the same monotonous rut that much of the album does. “Fatal Dreaming” starts out with a riff that is carefully lifted from Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy.” While the band changes it just enough so that it is original, you can hear the influence. I wish they had taken Metallica’s structure of a song as well. Shortly into the song, there is a breakdown that segways into some fast playing and lyrical delivery. This is rather synonymous with the same breakdown in In Flames’ “Graveland.” This band has a very Grave Diggeresque feel to the music in some respects as well with the song “Bloody Reign” as an exemplar.

Overall, if pure death metal with no frills is your bag, you’ll probably like this album. This band needs a little more time to get their songwriting up to par. Maybe two or three albums down the road we’ll see a masterpiece from Battlesword. This album leaves you with the feeling that it’s all been heard before.

Killing Songs :
Fatal Dreaming, This Silent Night
Jay quoted 59 / 100
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