Battleaxe – Heavy Metal Sanctuary

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On 27 February 2014
Last modified:28 February 2014


12 blistering songs that define the meaning of heavy metal.

Shot4@PlanetMosh gives 5 star rating for .@Battleaxe2010 – Heavy Metal Sanctuary
BATTLEAXE Heavy Metal Sanctuary PRINT

With a band called Battleaxe and an album titled Heavy Metal Sanctuary I was not expecting Nickelback type rock but was not expecting just how over the top it is. If it was any more metal it would take 2 people to load the CD and is more in your face than a door to door salesman! Released on CD and Digipak formats in the UK via Steamhammer/SPV Records  just in time for their appearance at Brofest 2 festival in Newcastle Upon Tyne this Friday, Battleaxe have defied all the odds thrown against them and finally their 3rd studio album has seen the light of day just over 30yrs ago since their 2nd studio release Power From The Universe in 1983.

Their 1981 demos ended up as their debut album Burn This Town but the band went their separate ways to do individual projects in the late 80’s and a brief reformation in 2007 lead to a slot on the bill at the Headbanger’s Open Air Fest in 2010 which sowed the seeds to begin work on Heavy Metal Sanctuary. With no record deal or financial backing, the band forged on and it was mixed by ex Tygers Of Pan Tang guitarist Fred Purser and to say he has done a fine job is an understatement as the title track bursts forth after a Manowar tinged intro to make a classic metal anthem even more epic! The main riff is a crunching beast but the icing on the cake is when the vocal of Dave King arrives. He must be in his 50’s by now but has a set of pipes that roar and shriek like a mix of Biff Byford, Bon Scott and mainly Udo Dirkschneider which gives the album an Accept vibe. After one song, Battleaxe’s stall has been set out and the quality continues with following track ‘Shock And Awe’ as the headbanging inducing riff is backed up by a monstrous backing from bassist Brian Smith and Paul Atkinson on drums. Dave’s vocal is almost off the scale on this number.

Other metal highlights are the pounding metal rhythms flowing through ‘Hail To The King’ containing an air guitar heaven guitar solo. The intensity levels are kept to the max by the striding rock of ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ with a massive chorus and killer guitar break midway! Album highlight for me is ‘Give It More’ containing some wonderful corny lyrics. That’s corny not Korny! Battleaxe play from the heart with guitar solos not like a bunch of over the hill American millionaires! A prime example in this song that has an AC/DC chug, are the lines “Neighbours at your door screaming to turn it down sending out for the law, turn it up again to number 10 and give em more more more!”

‘Revolution’ is full of NWOBHM style grooves trying to make themselves heard over a lung busting vocal and another personal highlight follows, the full on hard rock of  ‘A Prelude To Battle/The Legions Unite’. The Accept comparisons flow freely here as the song builds and builds like ‘Princess Of The Dawn’. ‘Devil Calls’ contains another massive chorus, yet another bruising anthem on Heavy Metal Sanctuary. ‘Kingdom Come’ is the nearest thing to a ballad but still hits hard and heavy and is a stone cold future crowd favourite. ‘Romeo’ ends the album in fine style with a ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’ style main riff to get the head nodding and containing more over the top couplets like “Raunchy women and a snort of coke, that’s me honey I’m that sort of bloke. From New York to Tokyo, a jet set rock and roll romeo”.

Every song on the album is a celebration of heavy metal so crank it up and join the Battleaxe party!


Album track listing :-gold

Heavy Metal Sanctuary.

Shock And Awe.

Hail To The King.

Rebel With A Cause.

Give It More.

Too Hot For Hell.


A Prelude To Battle/The Legions Unite.

Spirits Of The Fallen.

Devil Calls.

Kingdom Come.



Battleaxe band line up :-

Dave King – Vocals.

Brian Smith – Bass guitar.

Mike Percy – Guitar.

Paul Atkinson – Drums.

12 blistering songs that define the meaning of heavy metal.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!