Well, it’s not an overstatement of fact to say that The Rise and Demise Of The Motorsteeple, the new album from Australian up-and-comers Battlesnake, has split the Sentinel Daily office right down the middle like no other album in recent memory; So much so that we’ve decided – in the interests fairness and transparency, natch rather than in a tawdry attempt to fan the flames of division  – to print a review of the record from each of the warring tribes… Have a read of the opinions of Gavin Strickmann and Alfie Ingesson, cogitate on their contents, and then make your decision – Battlesnake – evil or divine?

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It’s hard to warm to Australian outfit Battlesnake. A group of highly talented musicians, the music they make on new album The Rise and Demise of the Motorsteeple is an essentially charmless hotchpotch of musically wordy pastiche and, worst of all, ironic smirking at the ridiculousness they, and we, find ourselves listening to.

Most of the album sounds like a bunch of earnest music nerds trying to recreate some sort of perfect late seventies pomp metal album. Don’t listen to the rubbish spouted by lazy writers regurgitating the ‘Spinal Tap‘ line fed by the faceless goons who run Battlesnake’s PR utterances – this is far more serious than that. Anyone wanting to make an album that sounds like Montrose offshoot Gamma in 2024 either has a serious screw loose or an agenda far more insidious and sinister than even my cynical old mind can come up with.

Seriously, what’s the point of being ‘ironic’ when you’ve got the chops to come up with something as skilful as the final couple of minutes of Road Warrior? What are you trying to achieve? I’m afraid it’s beyond the writhing of my little pygmy brain, leaving me with the impression that the joke Battlesnake are telling here is simply too complex for the likes of me to be in on.

But then I guess that’s kinda the point of post-modernism. It’s not for the likes of the great unwashed to be in on – we merely have to sit and give thanks for what we’re given, which in this case, is a bunch of self-indulgent posturing wrapped up in pseudo comedic storytelling. it’ll never catch on… GAVIN STRICKMANN

The Rise and Demise of the Motorsteeple is a triumph of classic heavy metal, reimagined through the lens of one of Australia’s most promising bands. With powerful storytelling, masterful musicianship, and a flair for the dramatic, Battlesnake has crafted an album that is both a homage to the genre’s greats and a bold step forward into the future of heavy metal.

It’s an album that promises to take listeners on a wild, seventies-inspired journey through time and space. Drawing on the rich heritage of classic heavy metal, but never taking itself too seriously, this record is packed with twin guitar harmonies reminiscent of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, earworm choruses that evoke the haunting aura of Ghost, and thunderous riffs that would make Black Sabbath proud.

The title track, Motorsteeple, showcases Battlesnake’s ability to blend classic rock guitar harmonies with  crushing, proto metallic, Sabbath-inspired riffage. It’s a sonic mashup that takes listeners down a road to oblivion, encapsulating the band’s flair for storytelling. As the band describes, “The Motorsteeple cometh on tracks of vengeful steel,” conjuring images of a colossal, chrome-spired church bound eternally to the road.

The Key of Solomon stands out as a straight-up heavy metal anthem. With its lumbering, thunderous riff and epic seventies soloing, it exemplifies what will become the unmistakable Battlesnake sound. The band’s description of the track—an ode to a ghastly sorceress brewing potions and drawing pentagrams—adds a layer of dark mystique that enhances the listening experience.

Other notable tracks include Alpha and Omega, a sprawling epic that combines the grandeur of classic heavy metal with Battlesnake’s unique flair, and Road Warrior, which delivers a six-minute odyssey of heavy riffs and soaring solos. Pterodactyl Firehawk and I Speak Tongues further showcase the band’s versatility, blending powerful guitar work with evocative lyrics and dynamic compositions.

The Rise and Demise of the Motorsteeple is not just an album; it’s a statement. Battlesnake has clearly forged their path from the underworld to the earthly realm.

As Battlesnake prepares to release The Rise and Demise of the Motorsteeple on June 21, the Solstice, they are set to cement their status as a force to be reckoned within the heavy metal world and, perhaps, beyond. Mortals, tremble and hail Battlesnake as they continue their unstoppable ascent… ALF-INGE INGESSON

You can pick which side you’re on when The Rise and Demise of the Motorsteeple is released on June 21st…