June 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Lovebites – “Battle Against Damnation”

love bites - battle against damnation

I’m tired.  The heat is taking on that thick, syrupy morass that feels like a brick, and any attempt to move through saps every ounce of your energy.  Couple that with the frankly insane nightmares that daily seem to define the United States, and more than ever I find myself turning to music that lefts my spirits, gives me a reason to lift my chin and fist to the sky to shake and just feel good, you know?

Enter the Power Metal Pick of the Month for June, which as should be glaringly obvious from the header image is Battle Against Damnation, the latest release from Lovebites.

I discovered Lovebites last year with their debut full length Awakening From Abyss, and their brand of heavy, technical mix of US/European power metal was such a jolt of fun I put them on my list when I guested on Shayne Mathis’s Full Metal Hipster podcast for the  Best Power Metal of 2017.  That album blasted from front to back while never shying away from the melody and pop hooks that play a significant role in Japanese music.  Battle Against Damnation is a stopgap EP, a breather between releases but any of the songs here would have fit right in on the previous album.

Opener “Crusade” jumps in feet first with some twin guitar leads before galloping forth with a wicked riff anchored by vocalist Asami’s ability to wrap a lyric into any form she wants.  Watching the video above there’s no denying the visual component the band brings, but that aesthetic acts as a counterpoint to how vicious the music is.  Guitarists Midori and Mi-Ya can shred with the best their peers, and what’s better, the band has an up-front production that really lets the riffs take the lead and shies away from the gauzy mix that plagues so many bands that try their hand at power metal.  “Break the Wall” straddles the line of thrash and speed metal and never relents, while “Above the Black Sea” slightly (ever so slightly) tempers that relentless attack with keyboards and subtle orchestral shades.  Closing with the epic “Under the Red Sky” brings it all together, blending killer solos, aggressive riffing, keyboard flourishes and an epic vibe that leaves your hands raised in triumph that there are bands out there holding true to the ideals of the genre while unafraid to leave their own stamp on it.  Lovebites in general and Battle Against Damnation in particular have the ability to bridge musical gaps – here’s hoping you let it.

lovebites band
Lovebites

Battle Against Damnation is available now via Victor Entertainment.  For more information on Lovebites check out their website and Facebook page.


June Quick Hits…

battleroar - codex epicusBattleroar – Codex Epicus:  Headbanging classic heavy metal from Greece that wants you to know it has found the ancient manuscript for what is truly epic.  There’s some straight up crunchers here, including “The Doom of Medusa.”  Throw in a heavy Manilla Road influence (Mark Shelton guests on the album) and killer art and you have a strong slab of traditional metal that’ll fill your stomach for the foreseeable future.

 

exlibris - innertiaExlibris – Innertia:  the 4th release from the Polish melodic metal unit has a great slick sound with heavy keyboard solos that don’t just twiddle around, some solid chunky riffing from the guitars, and a great classic vocal delivery reminiscent of every great  high pitched siren you can imagine (dude hits some sweet Halford highs).  Check out “Gravity” and you’ll know if this is something you can air key-tar to…

 

silent winter - the war is hereSilent Winter – The War is Here (EP):  Another EP so you don’t have to devote too much time to having your speed/metal fix injected into your veins.  This really hits that pocket of my youth, particularly classic Halloween and Artch, a band who doesn’t get nearly enough love (seriously, check out Another Return to Church Hill).  The title tracks smokes, and the rest of the songs ain’t too shabby, either.

 

triddana - rising from withinTriddana – Rising From Within:  Folk-tinged power metal that really feels warm and organic.  Come for “Raging Fire,” stay for the rest.  You won’t be disappointed.  “Journey to the Rim” just came on as I was finishing this post and it took me away.  Really strong stuff, particularly how effective the vocals and keys are within the structure of the songs.

 

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Until next time, keep it heavy, and let us know what we should be looking out for in July!

– Chris


 

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