Katana – Heads Will Roll

They say :- KATANA from Gothenburg, Sweden is the next big thing in traditional heavy metal. They deliver a show that is 100 percent pure adrenaline and will take the audience straight back to the golden age of the early eighties. Since the current line up was established in 2008, KATANA has worked hard to perfect their live act, which includes everything one would expect from a true eighties band, and then some. The music of KATANA is heavily influenced by British and German bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept. They definitely show that the genre is more alive than ever and the newly recorded debut album will set a new standard for what classic heavy metal is supposed to sound like in 2011.

We Say :- Reviewing music is something I enjoy, and stumbling across great music you haven’t heard of, is even better. I knew nothing about Katana before spinning this album, so I deliberately kept myself ignorant until I’d listened to it. Reading other people’s reviews tends to cloud your own judgement in my experience. How many of you reading this have read rave reviews of films, only to discover that the film was a big pile of MEH?

Anyway, enough of my BS already, how about I just review the damned thing? My first impressions of this took me back to the 80’s during the NWOBHM. I don’t mean that it sounds dated, it’s just it has that kind of distinctive sound. I also got hints now and then of Scorpions, and Helloween. It had a very European sound occasionally. I’d have guessed at them being from continental Europe, rather than anywhere else in the world. Not to bad a guess as it happens, as they hail from Sweden. There’s been a bit of a revival of the ‘classic rock’ sound, and don’t quote me on this, but I really think it kicked off with The Darkness when they exploded onto the scene.

Heads Will Roll is a damned fine album, 9 tracks of pure unadulterated classic rock pleasure, released at the end of May this year. None of that cock rock here, or that AOR pap either, or even any hair metal. It’s straight down the middle, kick ass rock music, and of the finest quality too. What’s more, it’s refreshing to see new bands trying to get that sound right. It’s a tough thing to do, to sound both old and new at the same time, but Katana have done just that, with nods to the giants of the era, such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and more. In fact, there are a few moments on the album where you think Tipton and Downing must be kicking themselves to have missed such a killer riff.

To sum up then, this is an album steeped in nostalgia that’s been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. 9 songs of such quality that my neck is still sore from the incessant headbanging that ensued shortly after it started to play on my stereo. I can honestly say, air guitar in hand, that this is one of the finest albums of this genre I’ve heard in a very long time. In fact, why are you even still reading this? Go out and buy it, and do it right now. I was raised on rock, and I absolutely loved the metal sound of the late 70’s to mid 80’s, maybe that’s the reason that I feel this album is right up my street. Personally though, I think it’s more likely to be that it’s so very good. Oh and did I mention that it’s bloody good too? I thought so. If you haven’t got the message by now, perhaps you never will.