Battletorn
Evil Chains

Christ, now THIS is retro kids. Just look at that artwork. This is raw garage thrash punk crossover circa 1986 fronted by an annoying female screamer/yeller (who has since departed), that will appeal to those that enjoyed the recent Municipal Waste album, only if you can get past the squealing banshee doing vocals.

Personally, I wouldn’t listen to this album too much voluntarily unless the vocals were removed, as the music itself is a primal expulsion of middle 80’s under produced, grating, simplistic, feedback drenched punk/crossover/thrash/grind (at least what was called grind in the mid 80’s; i.e. Repulsion) delivered in 18 sub one-minute spats.

Of course, there’s little depth to the album as its pretty much a knee skinning, raspberry leaving affair, but I’ll admit, the duo of Omid (guitars) and William (drums) know their way around their chosen influences, with a nice mix of urgently grinding power chords (“Threat”, “Four Letter” “Wasteland” “Collapse”, “Infiltrate”, “Pushing”) and grainy, primitive blast-ish beats (“Breakwide”, “Re-Emerge”, “Casualty” “Cut It”, “Wounds”); but Beverly’s wailing derails the whole thing. I’ll be anxious to hear how Omid handles the vocals now.

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Of course the whole affair is incredibly lo-fi and bass guitar-less so sound like it was recorded in my asshole with an 8 track, but that’s the throwback charm and Battletorn pull it off convincingly, not as some form of gimmick. Still for the raging music alone, this was one retro album I actually kind of dug. But fuck, it made me feel old.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 16th, 2006

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