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Banners Of Destruction

Battlesword are a melodic death metal band from Germany formed in 1999 releasing the 'Crusade Of Steel' demo in 2001. The bands first album, 'Falling In Triumph' was released in 2003, with a second demo 'The 13th Black Crusade' released in 2008. 'Banners Of Destruction' is the bands second full length offering and was released in 2016.    
Hitting hard like a jack hammer smashing concrete, German death metallers Battlesword get their new album underway with a brutal barrage of savagery. Deeply growled, menacing vocals accompany the brutality as 'Spirit To The Flesh' cuts and thrusts a savage path through the land. Mixing elements of the thrash metal genre, Battlesword offer up fifty five minutes of a thrash/death cocktail. 'The Unnamed Magic' slows the pace and increases the menace, with the vocals a low growl. The savage brutality with which Battlesword play is enough to warrant an emergency dash to the local A&E, such is the battering you'll receive. Title song 'Banners Of Destruction' intertwines the distinct traits of the traditional sound of heavy metal with their signature melodic death sound, all held together by a growling vocal delivery. Intensity levels rise as 'Grave New World' adopts a more in your face attitude, throatier vocals and a heavy, pounding rhythm that will brutally throw you to the floor, and then proceed to stamp all over you.    
'The Silence Of Victory' is two minutes of mellow, ballad-like fare, that belies the brutality of a death metal band, acting as an instrumental intro for the crushingly heavy and fast paced 'Tongues Of Hatred'. Sounding like the dark offspring from a meeting between brutal thrash metal legends Kreator and Slayer, 'Tongues Of Hatred' is delivered with enough ferocity to demolish buildings. The singers vocal delivery throughout the album is growly and throaty, occasionally sounding a little strained, but is aptly suited to this type of gritty, hard hitting death metal. The heaviness is ramped right up and off the scales, as 'Circle Of Witches' hits the ground running, energetically frantic and furious as it kicks and punches its way through the airways. 'Bloodlust Symphony' is up tempo, raucous and more heavy metal sounding than anything heard on the album so far. Changing pace as it progresses, 'Bloodlust Symphony' echoes elements of the speed metal genre, all the while remaining brutal, raw and aggressive, just the ticket if you wanna give your neck muscles a workout and get them flexing further than ever before.    
Is that the guitar sound of the iconic NWOBHM I hear? Hell yea it is, as 'Left For The Vultures' gets underway, followed by a pummelling rhythm that is just gonna hurt as it hits you square in the forehead. A brutal barrage of riffs sees 'Left For The Vultures' as a master class of savagery. High velocity, rampaging and raucous, 'There Will Be Blood' is a frenetic flurry of speed/thrash metal, accompanied with menacing growled vocals. For me, 'There Will Be Blood' is the best song on offer, giving me the opportunity to see just how far my neck muscles stretch as I violently bang my head, all the while stomping around, making my own wall of death...which is by no means over as 'Where Demons Awake' keeps the blistering pace going. Both 'There Will Be Blood' and 'Where Demons Awake' are breath taking, rabid and resoundingly the best two songs on offer. So, after nearly an hour, the final song enters the fray. 'Enemy Divine' returns the albums feel and vibe back towards the albums opening, pounding and pummelling at the senses, as the rough, gruff and raw power shines through. Battlesword have delivered a hard hitting and pulsating album of death/thrash metal.    
Overall, a brutal and savage journey of hard hitting, earth shattering and head battering death metal with infusions of thrash to add to its heaviness.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed for Metalmessage    
Review is also featured at Metal Gods TV