Katana – Storms of war

Swedish heavy metal band Katana had a very busy 2011.  They released their debut album (Heads will roll), they toured with bands including  “Where Angels Suffer”, featuring Chris Holmes and Stet Howland (ex-W.A.S.P.) and American metal legends Lizzy Borden. They also entered the studio to record their second album, “Storms of War”.  The album is now complete and was produced by King Diamond guitarist Andy La Rocque and is due for release in mid-May.

The band come from Gothenburg in Sweden and have already made a name for themselves.  In 2010 they won the prestigious Wacken Metal Battle which earned them a slot at the Wacken Open Air, as well as the Sweden Rock Festival.  Their first album got good reviews and earned them plenty of fans, and their new album is likely to win them even more fans.

Katana play traditional heavy metal along the lines of Iron Maiden or Judas Priest.  There is plenty of power from the guitar-driven sound and the driving powerful drums and the vocals suit the music perfectly.  The guitar work is great – plenty of powerful riffs and more complex bits where they are called for.

Lyrically there are Japanese influences (as you’d expect from a band named after a Japanese type of sword) – “The Samurai returns” being the most obvious, but also with “Kublai Khan”, a song about the Mongolian emperor who tried and failed to conquer Japan.  There are other lyrical subjects though – the band haven’t limited themselves to Japanese subjects – Modesty Blaise for instance is about the fictional heroine of the books by Peter O’Donnell.

A great album that’s well worth a listen for all fans of traditional heavy metal bands such as Judas Priest.

“Storms of War” will be released on 14th May via Listenable records.

Rating: 7.5/10

Track listing:

1. The Reaper
2. Wrath of the Emerald Witch
3. Kubilai Khan
4. The Samurai Returns
5. City on the Edge of Forever
6. No Surrender
7. In the Land of the Sun
8. The Gambit
9. Modesty Blaise
10. The Wisdom of Emond’s Field

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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