Battle Born – Battle Born EP

Battle Born – Battle Born EP
Self Released
Release Date: 26/06/2020
Running Time: 24:16
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

So here we are my friends – still in the midst of weirdness, and slowly pushing the boundaries of our sanity a little further every day, complete with lockdown haircuts and all-day drinking! Add in to that a bank holiday weekend at the sweaty end of May, and you would be forgiven for thinking that I may have finally cracked! But thankfully the saving grace in all this madness is, as ever, music, and the new releases certainly haven’t slowed down here at EMHQ. So, I’m cracking open another bottle and settling in for the long haul. I have new music and wine. I could think of many worse ways to spend a Sunday evening!

Tonight’s listening pleasure is brought to me by Battle Born, a Power Metal quintet from the UK, who are about to release their debut EP of the same name. The Power Metal scene here in the UK has always been small, but perfectly formed (a lot like me!!) and it is great to see a host of new bands flying on to the scene, holding aloft the mighty sword of European Power Metal sounds, pulling their flowing manes and theatrical anthems behind them! The inspiration for Battle Born’s Debut EP apparently came from the hugely successful game, Skyrim. Now, I am a bit of a gamer, but alas being a bit old, and a staunch Nintendo girl, unless it has Mario in, it’s not on my radar! However, you don’t need to know the game in order to appreciate good music. So, without further procrastination, let’s talk Power Metal!

Without giving me chance to slurp my wine, the opening track and title track, ‘Battle Born’, burst out of my headphones with all the power and speed that you would expect from a very well healed band of the genre. Beginning with a very regent and full chord progression sequence, it quickly progresses to the gold old ‘riggidy diggidy’ beat so synonymous with Power Metal. Jack Reynold’s vocal are crisp and powerful, whether that be in a clean range, or giving us a couple of screams. I really like that every word is crystal clear. There is also some lovely keyboard work and a great guitar solo in this track. A proper barnstormer to start with. I like!

This theme continues throughout the EP. Classic Power Metal riffs, fantastic vocals, and metronomic rhythms. The addition of some 80’s style Synth in the second track, ‘Bring the Metal Back’, adds an interesting flavour and is a subtle nod to some of the greats. This 80’s feel is continued in track 3, ‘Man of War’, although this is less of a Power Metal anthem, and more Classic Metal. The band’s press release says that it ‘could comfortably have lived on 80s hard rock radio alongside Judas Priest.’ I concur. It comes complete with the sound effect of marching feet – very 80’s, hugely cliched, but perfect! A gold star again here to Jack Reynolds scream just before the end of the song! It’s big! I expect he needed a sit down after delivering it!

Track 4, ‘For Our Home’, slows things down into the realms of Power Ballad (lighters at the ready folks). It is a beautiful and very poignant and thoughtful composition amidst the thumping pace of the rest of the EP.

The final track, ‘Sovngarde Awaits’, starts of in a slow and melancholy fashion, but doesn’t stay there for long! Bringing the whole thing back full circle, it moves at a pace, and explores the full scope of the instrumentation on offer from Battle Born; the dramatic keys of Will Kerr, riffage a plenty on from Tom O’Dell on guitar, and a thumping and thunderous rhythm section provided by Chris Beattie on bass and Charles Lamacraft on drums. And of course, Jack Reynolds vocals.

You can’t help but smile at Power Metal, I find. It’s just joyous. And Battle Born have shown us here that they are certainly in contention to join the Power league with the big boys! Well done chaps!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Battle Born
02. Bring the Metal Back
03. Man of War
04. For Our Home
05. Sovngarde Awaits

LINE-UP:
Jack Reynolds – Vocals (also in Bykürius and Asira)
Will Kerr – Guitars, Keyboards
Tom O’Dell – Guitars, Vocals (Track 4) (also in Dwarrowdelf and Deavhronun)
Chris Beattie – Bass
Charles Lamacraft-Perrett – Drums
Extra guitars from Ethan Bishop (Asira/Bykürius/Cairiss on Tracks 3 and 4)

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/battlebornuk/
www.instagram.com/battlebornuk/
www.battlebornuk.bandcamp.com/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCg8iwUhNagsNEpSzLAui07g

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with BATTLE BORN

EMQ’s with BATTLE BORN

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with UK based Power Metal band Battle Born. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Will Kerr (guitars and keyboards): We are Battle Born. We hail from Windhelm, Eastmarch. We are a band of brothers in arms, sworn to wipe the imperial scourge from our land. Our forging took place when riding from the home of Heavy Metal (Wacken Open Air). Conjuring new battle hymns telling of our victory, we swore in blood to bring the Metal back.

How did you come up with your band name?

Jack Reynolds (vocals): For many generations, clan Battle-Born was a proud pillar of the Whiterun Nord community. As time goes on, more and more of our clansmen have bent the knee to the Imperial Scourge, but not us! We are Battle Born, and we shall never kneel.

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

Will: Why, I hear Ustengrav and Bleak Falls Barrow are still some of the finest iron mines in the lands; perfect for any budding smith. Just speak to Eorlund Grey-Mane in Whiterun. The man’s steel is legendary.

Jack: Yeah everyone knows Eastmarch for its iron, but don’t forget about the steel. It’s maybe a little harder to come by, but there are so many great steel ingots to be found if you know where to look!

Charlie Lamacraft-Perrett (drums): I grew up in Markarth before I sought out my brothers in Windhelm. It’s a city famed for its silver, but I grew tired of pretty trinkets and sought out the Battle. Steel is harder than silver.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Charlie: We are Battle Born. Our single is Battle Born. Our EP is Battle Born.

Will: The chorus of the song ‘Battle Born’ is a rallying call to all the Metal warriors of the world to stay true to their Steel and to fight, kill, and die for Heavy Metal.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Jack: It’s a bit of an over-simplification, but I see there being two main streams of influence to Battle Born. On one hand you’ve got the synth-heavy sounds of modern Finnish Power Metal – your Beast in Blacks and your Dreamtales. On the other hand, there’s no denying the power of those more ancient forces – Judas Priest and Blind Guardian certainly contribute to the more ‘classic’ areas of our DNA.

Charlie: My biggest influence is without a doubt the Imperials in Skyrim. Without my seething hatred of them and their oppressive natures, I would never have taken up arms with my brothers.

What first got you into music?

Jack: Don’t hold it against me, but I actually studied at the Bard’s College in Solitude. Ultimately it wasn’t the place for me, but I learnt a lot and it set me on my path singing tales of war and glory across the land.

Charlie: As a boy I could frequently hear Ghorza gra-Bagol hammering at the anvil. Such power. Such rhythm – I could feel it flowing through me. Now I pound my drums as we approach the enemy to instil fear in their hearts.

Will: I grew up surrounded by music. My three older brothers played all sorts of music. It was Metal that passed the test of time in my collection.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Jack: I would pay a Jarl’s ransom to sing on an Avantasia album.

Charlie: I’ve wanted to play with Hammerfall since I first did covers of them when I was 16.

Will: I would love to collaborate with Nils Molin. He has an exceptional voice and one that I think suits the music I write.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Jack: Wacken Open Air is a true home for Power Metal, and in many ways the spiritual birthplace of Battle Born. If we were to play Wacken then that would almost feel like a homecoming show for us.

Charlie: I go to Download Festival every year, and I would love to finally attend as an artist.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Jack: It wasn’t a gift as such, but I once met a guy who asked if I’d sign his CD. He pulled out a Sean Paul album, which was already covered in autographs. Turns out this guy just brings his lucky Sean Paul CD to every Metal gig he goes to, and gets bands to sign it. Lots of bands were really good sports, but apparently, he couldn’t get Bob Catley to sign his box of Magnum ice creams.

Will: Recently a strange fellow came up to me and handed me a scrap of paper. He said it was for my hands only. It presented an image of a hand with the text beneath reading “WE KNOW”. I’m sure it has something to do with Heavy Metal.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Will: Fight; kill; run them to the hills. Because for Metal we are all Battle Born!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Jack: It’s got to be Ronnie James Dio. The Magica trilogy is one of the greatest (and most unfairly  overlooked) unfinished sagas in Metal history.

Charlie: Neil Peart. He was an inspiration to anyone who picked up a set of sticks.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Will: Early days at the Bards College involve a fair share of remedial tasks and many who join resent that. We’re just proud to serve Skyrim’s people in whatever form.

Charlie: It’s a form of escapism unlike any other. When imperial oppression gets to be too much, I can forget the world and everything wrong with it. As a drummer though, I hate that I find myself absent-mindedly tapping all the time.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Charlie: I would like to see Metal have more mainstream coverage within the UK media. If we take the example of festivals, there are live broadcasts of Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, Reading and Leeds festivals and so on, sometimes a few days of coverage. There is nothing to that extent for Metal, and I want to see it on our screens more.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Jack: That’s difficult, it changes every day! I’ve consulted my horoscope, and right now it’s “The Gathering Wilderness” by Primordial.

Charlie: Very hard to answer. I grew up on Thrash Metal and Megadeth have always been a huge influence on me – “Rust in Peace” is a timeless classic. In Power Metal, one that stuck with me is “Allegiance” by Firewind. Every track on that album holds up and I still listen to it regularly after all these years.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Jack: These options are antiquated and decadent. We prefer to stream our anthems through the skies on invisible electric wings! Failing that, there is something magical about holding a nice big vinyl gatefold in your hands while you listen to a great album.

Charlie: These days it’s about what is accessible. With streaming services we can be heard in an instant and recruit more warriors to the fray.

Will: Put it this way: iron is mined; Steel is forged.

Jack: Wise words.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Jack: Will, Tom and I all have a shady past playing in Glam Rock and Hair Metal bands. I’ll never forget the last time our bands shared the same bill. It was a hometown show for us, and it ended with a stage invasion of all of us (and a fair chunk of the audience) doing a somewhat embellished rendition of “The Boys Are Back in Town”. We must have had about 20 people on stage. I’m sure it sounded brilliant.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Charlie: Wondering why I never became a musician.

Jack: In all honesty, I really feel like this is our true calling. I guess I’d just be killing time, doing side quests.

Will: Now you mention it, it has been too long since we’ve had a good bandit raid.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Will: A-ha! A perfect time to strike the foe. I would organise a treaty with the imperial generals and make use of the Dark Brotherhood to serve their heads on a platter.

Jack: I’d invite my four brothers in Battle Born, they’re a decent bunch. The fifth person would be Tupac Shakur, he seems like a really interesting guy. It’s a bit of a gamble as some people say he’s dead, but that would just mean more dinner for us.

What’s next for the band?

Will: The Battle is never over, and we are still at war. We will send scouts to towns everywhere to enlist warriors for the cause. We will sing songs together in taverns up and down the land and engulf the enemy with our sound.

Charlie: We fight for our own land first, but we will begin a crusade to rid other countries of the imperial scourge. We hope that many of our brothers in Metal will join us in our quest.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Jack: Obviously, Facebook is the big one. We try to use it right – really talking with our fans, instead of it being just a stream of announcements we push in front of them. We’ve also curated a Spotify playlist which includes our influences and the stuff we’re enjoying at the moment. We’ll be keeping that regularly updated!
www.facebook.com/battlebornuk/
www.spotify.com/artist/0JM8io5wCngAiifWS8nhqe
www.instagram.com/battlebornuk/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Charlie: For tax reasons I think they’re classed as a sweetroll.

Will: Cake! Sweetrolls are definitely cakes! What do you mean that wasn’t the question?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Charlie: In these troubling times, I want to say that I have a lot of respect for the Restoration School. Skyrim could use more healers.

Jack: Agreed! Stay safe out there, and watch the skies.

Will: No lollygaggin’.
www.battlebornuk.bandcamp.com/album/battle-born
www.facebook.com/battlebornuk/

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.