Battleroar : V
Monsterworks, "Battleroar : V"
After independently releasing three albums and an EP from their home base of New Zealand (1998's "Dormant", followed by the "Delusions of Grandeur" EP in 1999, "Dimensional Urgency" in 2001, and "Rogue" in 2002) Monsterworks return with a four song preview of their fifth and upcoming release, aptly titled "Battleroar : V".
In early 2003, Monsterworks' singer/guitarist and guiding light Jon decided that a change of scenery was in order. Cutting roots in New Zealand, he moved to London and convinced original guitarist Ian to make the trek and come back into the Monsterworks family after sitting out "Rogue". Sadly, Monsterworks' powerhouse rhythm section didn't join them, but two able-bodied session players - Hugo and Chris, bass and drums, respectively - were drafted into the ranks and make their debut here.
Thankfully, though, if these four songs are any indication of the material coming on the full length version of "Battleroar:V", the change has done them nothing but good. As expected, the music still revolves around their trademark fusion of thick groove, quick-wristed thrash and huge anthems, but the four songs manage to balance their power with a sort of uplifting strength. To call the sounds they make "anthemic" would be an understatement. Highlights on this incarnation of their traditional mix are the blast beats and clean guitar coda of "Barricade", Jon's increasingly sick death growls and more typical Walkyier-meets-Halford rasp, and the incredibly volume-friendly production they got from Bona Fide Studio.
At the end of the day, this preview shows Monsterworks striking a smart balance of both the familiar and new, and hopefully this upcoming release will get them half of the exposure they deserve.