Battered

Battered

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Some bands choose wildly inappropriate names because they love being ironic; 10,000 Maniacs, for example, sounds like the name of an over-the-top punk or metal band, but that name is delightfully ironic because their introspective folk-rock/adult alternative output is a long way from metal or punk. But other bands pick names that are highly appropriate and describe, to a tee, what it is they do. A case in point is Battered, whose self-titled debut album (a 2005 recording and 2006 release) does exactly that. This metal CD is the sonic equivalent of battering, and the listener will, in fact, feel battered after listening to the 41-minute album in its entirety. That said, the Norwegian outfit provides metal that -- for all its loudness and in-your-face intensity -- is not overly extreme by 2005 and 2006 standards. They aren't death metal, and they aren't offering the sort of ultra-vicious, suffocating metalcore or math metal that was quite plentiful in 2005 and 2006. Rather, Battered specializes in '80s-style thrash metal, drawing on American influences such as Exodus, Slayer, Pantera, pre-Demonic Testament and early Metallica. They rock forcefully and aggressively; the listener definitely gets battered, although the damage isn't as severe as it would be on a lot of metalcore, math metal or grindcore discs. Occasionally, one hears traces of black metal, which is not surprising when one considers that three of Battered's members (drummer Gerhard Storesund and guitarists Frode Glesnes and Aksel Herl√łe) are ex-members of the Viking black metal combo Einherjer. But thrash is still the primary ingredient -- Battered is a Scandinavian band with an essentially American sound -- and while this album isn't the least bit groundbreaking, it is generally decent. Although not a masterpiece, this is a noteworthy, if derivative and slightly uneven effort that is worth checking out if one is a truly die-hard fan of '80s-style thrash metal.

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