KATANA Heads Will Roll – Gothenburg, Sweden is where Katana calls home, with their current lineup being established back in 2008. The debut studio album from Katana, Heads Will Roll, was released in the U.S. on May 31st, 2011, on Listenable Records and it is a delectable bounty of Traditional Heavy Metal to devour. Heads Will Roll is an album of nine Heavy Metal songs that will stamp the time travel ticket for any old schooler… back to the days of Classic Metal glory.
The album title Heads Will Roll reminds me of the Judas Priest classic: Some Heads Are Gonna Roll, from their vintage 1984 album Defenders Of The Faith. There’s just something about heads rolling that sounds, well, Metal. All kidding aside, this debut album from Katana seems to gain more Metal steam after each song. This is an album that just sounds alive and comes across scorching in all of it’s Traditional Metal bliss the more I listen to it.
Heart of Tokyo and Asia in Sight are two blockbuster songs that are smack in the Metal middle of this album. Both songs are capable of drop-kicking poser Metal into the next millennium. Hell, this entire Heads Will Roll album screams: Classic Metal Reigns! The overall Classic Metal vibe that is captured by Katana on this album is very impressive. These are musicians that have done their Classic Metal homework and aren’t afraid to look down upon any “new” Metal trends of the week.
If I had to choose the numero uno song on this album that absolutely kicks the most major Metal ass, well then, it’s Rebel Ride. Shades and obvious influence of the Priest’s Metal guitar legends K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton are heard, courtesy from the double guitar attack of Patrik Essén and Tobias Karlsson on Rebel Ride. This influence is clear as day and sounds Metal supreme. Both guitarists are fun to take in throughout this entire album. Back to Rebel Ride… it’s such a fantastic Metal song to get psyched-out by, that I’ve come close to pinching myself to make certain I’m not dreaming.
The vocals of Johan Bernspång resonates the essence of yesteryear’s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Eloquent, dynamic and consistently captivating are Johan’s vocals. No, I’m not anointing Johan as the greatest Metal singer I’ve ever heard, I’m only stating he is a Metal vocalist to keep your eyes on and your ears tuned to… for the next twenty years or more. I would have to say with certainty, that Johan reminds me of Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween). Don’t mistake me here at all, Johan comes across as a very welcomed and unique Metal vocalist to this sacred community.
At 6:50 long, the mini-epic Quest for Hades finishes off Heads Will Roll, whilst the audio senses of Iron Maiden and even Helloween are swirling through my brain. Comparisons and/or influences aside, Katana comes at me as blatant originals to the Traditional Heavy Metal genre. This band can not only play, they also present themselves as true believers and honor students of Classic Metal. Need proof that Katana is as legit as Metal itself? Then submerse your eardrums into Heads Will Roll and thank the Metal Gods that another young Traditional Metal band has gotten it right.
KATANA HAS TRIUMPHED.
Johan Bernspång – vocals
Patrik Essén - guitars
Tobias Karlsson – guitars
Susanna Salminen – bass
Anders Persson – drums
HEADS WILL ROLL – Track Listing:
Livin’ Without Fear
Blade of Katana
Phoenix on Fire
Heart of Tokyo
Asia in Sight
Across the Stars
Quest for Hades
* For more info on KATANA, click on the link below:
LONG LIVE KATANA.