Battering Ram – Second To None (Album Review)

Release Date: July 15th 2022 - UPRISING! Records

BATTERING RAM - Second To None

Battering Ram is a hard rock band from Sweden formed in 2017, releasing their debut album ‘Battering Ram’ in 2019, and their sophomore album ‘Second To None’ in 2022.

At the exact point where rock meets metal, you’ll find many bands – but not many that use blues-based hard rock as the glue! Battering Ram meshes together the two greatest genres of music with effortless ease – their sound heavy yet melodic, easy listening yet infectious, all the while paying homage to the founders of hard rock and heavy metal from the seventies and eighties. The band’s new album ‘Second To None’ features nine songs over thirty-six hard rocking minutes – ‘What I’ve Become’ giving the album an explosive lift-off! Guitars buzzing like it’s the nineteen eighties and the launch of the NWOBHM, ‘What I’ve Become’ is a heavy-hitting slab of old school metal come rock brought forward forty years and presented with a high level of puff and punch. Which remains for the more up-tempo and energetic ‘Too Late’, standing proudly on the bridge between the heavy metal and hard rock genres. With a vocal delivery that would not be amiss singing the blues, or fronting a ZZ Top tribute band, Battering Ram arms themselves with many strings to their bow, attracting fans of the Southern rock style of music too.

And talking of ZZ Top – ‘Ram You Down’ comes at you from the Texan mob’s style of mid-tempo bluesy hard rock. Battering Ram‘s singer Johan Hallstrom instills a little growly rasp into his vocal style, crossing borders and bringing inspiration from the Stoner rock genre and mixing it with his, already dripping in blues, sound. Moving in a more melodic direction, ‘Pieces’ has a cracking chorus and one helluva infectious rhythm to keep your feet tapping for a very long time. Battering Ram has built upon their debut success, developing a style that is highly entertaining and insanely catchy. I defy anyone not to be smiling and nodding their head right now – it’s an involuntary reaction to such great rhythm. Picking up the pace, ‘Hold On’ will bang those nodding heads, and attract an array of metal heads that thought the Swedes were just a “rock” band! Oh no guys – Battering Ram are more than capable of dipping their instruments into the heavy metal genre too…

…with ‘Down’ exhibiting the glorious buzz style guitar sound associated with the legendary NWOBHM. Back in the old days – days that I remember very well – bands such as Def Leppard, Whitesnake, and even Magnum, were placed under the banner of heavy metal when in reality they’re exponents of hard rock, blues rock, and pomp rock styles of music. So forty years ago, it’s very likely Battering Ram would have been called heavy metal too – although now in the modern age with a myriad of genres, they are a hard rock/heavy metal band. And a very good one too! Mixing rock and metal once more, ‘Coming Home’ is an energetic gallop of “foot on the monitor” fury – the band embodying everything the seventies and eighties rock and metal evolution created. Battering Ram really does roam around many of the heavier styles of music to give the listener a varied aural delight. Putting their foot on the gas once again, the band speed along with the darker and more menacing ‘Rage’ – even the vocals taking on a little aggression! The headbangers are gonna love this one too, the band catering to lovers of metal as well as rock. Bringing the album to a close is the self-titled ‘Battering Ram’, stepping over boundaries to include touches of the blues, ballad, and the Texan drawl of the aforementioned ZZ Top. Not afraid to broaden their musical horizons, Battering Ram shows supreme confidence in genre hop, and delivers a varied mix of rock and metal.

Overall, an energetic and infectious album of rock come metal, Battering Ram shows progression and growth from their debut.

TRACKLIST

What I’ve Become
Too Late
Ram You Down
Pieces
Hold On
Down
Coming Home
Rage
Battering Ram

Battering Ram: Facebook

Release Year: 2022
Label: UPRISING! Records
Category: Album
Country: Sweden

Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.