Bakken emerge from the Emerald Isle, bringing with them power/thrash sounds aimed at fans of Maiden, Priest and Helloween and their sophomore album, This Means War, is reassuringly traditional; with air-raid siren vocals, crunchy riffs and no end of bombastic, fist-pumping anthems to its name.
Releasing the beast and unleashing the fury is the name of the game, as Bakken regurgitate their favourite hits like a fearsome dragon gagging on his latest meal of filthy, plague-ridden peasants. If that reads as a negative, consider it more of a back-handed compliment. After all, we’ve heard this kinda thing a million times before.
Fortunately, the likes of the thrash-heavy, Iced Earth-esque “Evil Walks This Way” provides enough of the requisite thrills to waylay any malaise and while the American TV evangelist-baiting “Star Machine” feels laughably over the top, it’s delivered in a manner that raises broad grins (& broad swords) as opposed to prompting mean-spirited mockery.
“In Requiem” provides the obligatory, 6 min ballad which feels like a hellion hybrid of Judas Priest and Crimson Glory (without quite reaching the heights of both) but you can’t fault the energy levels mustered over the final 2 minutes which delivers in spades. The chugging onslaught of “Two-Edged Blade” then maintains the pace – and the Maiden-isms – while “We Fight” is epic heavy metal / power metal through and through (if the title didn’t give it away already).
With This Means War, do Bakken get your blood-pumping? The answer is frequently!
Are they original? Not in the slightest.
But that’s power metal for ya! 6/10
Bakken – This Means War
Press release says self-released on 4th October 2020.
Encyclopaedia Metallum states March 20th, 2020 – go figure!
DIGITAL | CD
Power/Thrash from Ireland