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Reviews » [Review] Battle Axe (Jpn) - Demo Tape II [Demo] (1985)
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  • What Could Have Been - 84%

    One of the things that bother me is when a talented band goes entirely unnoticed, having only shown a tiny glimpse into their artistic ability, and swiftly disappearing never to be heard of again, prompting the question, what could the future have held for such projects had they stuck it out longer and perhaps got an album out? Battle Axe were prime example of this, having put out three demos in the mid 80s before giving up the dream and parting ways.

    Demo Tape II really doesn't feel like a demo at all, in fact, if it weren't recorder to a cassette on a low budget, it would be difficult to tell that Battle Axe weren't musicians with many years experience, as every aspect of their music is written and performed very, very well. The band certainly gave everything they had in an attempt to get a label to notice them here, with a little bit of everything to show off their musical capabilities. There's a total of four tracks here, the higher speed Lonely City, mid paced Fire and Out of the Street, and the ballad Midnight Sun to provide a taste of the band at multiple tempos.

    The production here is surprisingly good, and the band has actually put together a fair amount of depth to their music, with powerful rocking riffs and sexy solos, topped with even stronger vocals from Atsuko "Bee" Ose, but beyond that, on the song Fire I've even noticed acoustic guitar layered behind the electric guitar, which is a very nice touch. All four songs are highly entertaining and catchy, and leave an impression of professionalism, with the band having a clear vision of what they were out to achieve here. Out in the Street is a killer rocker with a chorus that gives shades of Gimme Shelter by The Who. My other favorite track on the demo is the epic Midnight Sun which is a top-tier heavy ballad that gets louder and louder as the song progresses, with wintery keyboards at times, and eventually shifts from acoustic to electric guitars in addition to really showing off Bee's vocal prowess.

    Don't shy away from this release based on it being a demo-tape, the music is way more complete and deeper than your usual demo fare, and really feels more like an EP, especially since the production is at a fairly high level. You should really give this one a go, this is a super catchy metal demo containing a mountain of skill and potential, and it amazes me that these guys never made it, they would certainly have put out some good albums given the chance. Highly recommended.

    Written by TadakatsuH0nda, re-posted from the Metal Archives.
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