Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

by Matt Hensch

.
Battleaxe is one of those bands from the 1980s that went from nonoperational to reformed decades later thanks to revitalized interest from new generations of heavy metal seekers and the loyalty of longtime listeners. Battleaxe broke out of obscurity, reformed, released new material, and has enjoyed newfound vigor. "Power from the Universe," one of the group's few records before splitting up, sees a celebratory reissue here, marking thirty years of existence. Released in 1984, Battleaxe took their NWOBHM roots and sprinkled on bits of hard rock chemistry to make the album a nifty slab of classic heavy metal. Mixing metallic lashings akin to Accept and accessible mechanics of heavy rock, "Power from the Universe" is sharp as a knife and well-made for the style it attempts.

"Power from the Universe" utilizes a rock-based NWOBHM blueprint. The aggression and drive of many British metal bands at the time are exchanged frequently for 80s rock tempos that are glazed naturally in metallic guitar tones and themes. Full-scale anthems on both sides of Battleaxe's spectrum are here: "Movin' Metal Rock" and "Make it in America" show Battleaxe taking the accessible route, while others kick up the belligerence and explore melodies and riffing styles of their steelier cohorts. The tunes rocking (0/10, I know) the hard rock structure are the weakest here, but aren't that bad, actually. Battleaxe's chemistry shines through solid riffs and hooking choruses that push these songs beyond middling hard rock-having the metallic elements in sight helps plenty, of course.

A fair number of these tunes are not just hooky or admirable, but knocking on the door of heavy metal excellence. "Fortune Lady" is my favorite here, easily. It is almost seven minutes of a mystical, epic ambience told through subtle bass lines, an excellent chorus, wonderful buildups, and ending on a blazing guitar solo. Working well to show more dynamics than just the rock scheme, this is jaw-dropping NWOBHM mastery. The lively "Chopper Attack" strikes hard with up-tempo riffs and a punch of steely vigor most of "Power from the Universe" skips over. I also like the title track a lot, what with the quick pace dropping to an addictive mid-paced section while juggling a children's choir, of all things. Usually a recipe for disaster, but used effectively here to actually justify its presence. I can count on one hand how many times I've seen this work; the number isn't very high, understandably.

The bonus tracks on SPV's reissue of "Power from the Universe" are beyond the usual filler-based arsenal of rehearsals or useless bootlegs pandering themselves around like they actually add an additional benefit to the overall release. Four tunes recorded in the mid-1980s-"Killer Woman," "Radio Thunder," "My Love's On Fire," and "Love Sick Man"-are the add-ons here, made relevant because they represent the band in a bygone time. "Killer Woman" is a huge up-tempo monster in the vein of Accept-meaty, gritty, punchy, mighty. The others are geared to match the more accessible rock elements, but are nowhere near redundant or asking to be trashed. In fact, these auxiliary songs echo the eminence and the dependability of "Power from the Universe" at large in a way most reissues don't even come close to grasping.

"Power from the Universe" is a swell piece of rock-orientated NWOBHM that holds a significant place in Battleaxe's role in British heavy metal lore. This is admirable stuff with the voltage of classic heavy metal alive and well, the thirty years between its birth and this reissue not affecting its power one iota.

Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue
Rating:

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article

.




advertisement

advertisement

News Reports
Day in Rock:
AC/DC's Phil Rudd Cancels Fall Tour- Iron Maiden Preview The Book Of Souls Concert Film And Live Album- Foo Fighters Cover AC/DC Classic With Hives Frontman- Bruce Springsteen- more

Deep Purple Singer Addresses Ritchie Blackmore Reunion Idea- Guns N' Roses Guitarist Gilby Clarke Announces Micro Tour- Punk Band Accidentally Pressed Onto Beyonce Vinyl- more

Linkin Park Announce Chester Bennington Tribute Concert- Paul McCartney And Bruce Springsteen Jam Beatles Classic- Foo Fighters' 'Carpool Karaoke' Tease Revealed-Metallica- more

Day in Pop:
Rapper Mystikal Indicted On Rape and Kidnapping Charges- Carrie Underwood Sued Over 'Something in the Water'- Ariana Grande Almost Falls Off Stage During Concert- more

Miley Cyrus Releases 'Younger Now' Album Details- Liam Payne and Zedd Release 'Get Low' Video- Jake Owen Launches Hurricane Irma Relief Campaign- Macklemore And Kesha- more

Lady Gaga Cancels More Shows Due To Health Issue- Niall Horan Releases New Song 'Too Much To Ask'- Shania Twain Shares New Song 'We Got Something They Don't'- more

advertisement


Reviews

Shawna Virago - Last Night's Sugar

Kinlin - The Last Stand

Revolushn - Further!!

On The Record: Walk the Line (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

UFO - The Salentino Cuts

Neil Young - Hitchhiker

Depeche Mode: Rock N' Roll's Revolutionaries

Heather Kenney - Waltz

Coffins/Isla Split

Freddie Nelson - Shake The Cage

Rock Reads: Food on Foot: A History of Eating on Trails and in the Wild

Rainbow - Live In Birmingham 2016

Rabid Flesh Eaters - Reign of Terror

Root 66: Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones - Love You To Life

Valdur - Pathetic Scum

On The Record: NOMADS- All-Seeing Eyes- Birdseed

The Blues: The Nighthawks- Paradise Kings- Delta Wires

Dennis DeYoung Plays The Music Of Styx at Mesa Arts Center

Prong's X - No Absolutes

ZZ Ward - The Storm

Lollapalooza 2017 - Day Four Report

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie more

Rock News Stories
AC/DC's Phil Rudd Cancels Fall Tour

Iron Maiden Preview The Book Of Souls Concert Film And Live Album

Foo Fighters Cover AC/DC Classic With Hives Frontman

Bruce Springsteen Releases '78 Show for Hurricane Relief

Linkin Park Release 'One More Light' Video

New Order Settle Legal Issues With Former Bassist Peter Hook

Metallica Stream Previously Unreleased Live Recording Of Classic Song

Bob Dylan Announces 'Gospel Years' Bootleg Box Set

Arcade Fire Release Cover Of John Lennon's 'Mind Games'

Phish To Play New Year's Eve Shows At Madison Square Garden

Billy Corgan Previews His 'Pillbox' Short Film

Blitzen Trapper Release 'Rebel' Video

more

B-Side Stories
Rapper Mystikal Indicted On Rape and Kidnapping Charges

Carrie Underwood Sued Over 'Something in the Water'

Ariana Grande Almost Falls Off Stage During Concert

Jay-Z Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime Performance?

Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Midland Announce Tour

Randy Travis Street Sign Unveiled In His Hometown

Taylor Swift Releases Behind The Scenes Clip

Artists Send Thoughts And Prayers to Mexico City Following Earthquake

Jason Aldean Announces Annual 'Concert for the Cure' Benefit

Demi Lovato Will Discuss Sexuality In New Documentary

Migos' Offset Honors Grandmother With Cancer Research Campaign

Miranda Lambert Performs with Father and Boyfriend Anderson East

Ty Dolla $ign Announces 'Beach House 3' Release With 2 New Songs

Thomas Rhett's Wife Lauren Akins Jokes that Daughter Cut Her Hair

Singled Out: Nick Dean's How Did We?

more



Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.