KATANA – Heads Will Roll

KATANA - Heads Will Roll
  • 9/10
    KATANA - Heads Will Roll - 9/10


Listenable Records
Release date: June 10, 2011

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

This is not the first time the Katana blade sliced into hearts of men, but this time it’s about a young band from Sweden that sliced deep with the force of their amazing music. Once again, Britain’s fall is Sweden’s gain, at least when it comes to NWOBHM (or as it would seem today, NWOSHM). Along with their peers such as Enforcer and Steelwing, Katana have come to play Traditional Metal as it should be rightfully played. Although they use rather modern production compared to their two mentioned peers, the holy Metal flame still burns brightly under their debut album, Heads Will Roll.  NWOBHM, and Classic Metal in general, runs deep in the band’s veins, and like venom it keeps on spreading fast while not letting go. For the world’s Metalheads, it’ll be great if this venom keeps on spreading because the past comes alive with every song played.

Besides the production, Katana’s music is plainly addictive. The duo axmen, Karlsson & Essen, blast with an ’80s attitude by composing some high quality harmonies and melodies a la Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, while sticking early ’80s kind of solos that demonstrate a bit of the late ’70s Hard Rock nature. Johan Bernspang, the band’s frontman, is one of the icings on this Swedish cupcake as he performs with some great high-pitches to go along with his kind of a steely voice. Although he is not Halford and far from Dickinson, his pattern is more or less of the same characters as many of the old NWOBHM vocalists.

In general, Katana stays true to Traditional Metal and their material’s high rating shows their loyalty.  “Phoenix On Fire” is an amazing and memorable track, and its chorus is a blazing ’80s-like anthem that won’t leave your head for sure. “Neverending World” turned out to be quite a hitter with its very melodic and somewhat complex sections along the way.  “Heart Of Tokyo” continued the band’s fascination with the Japanese culture and society.  “Rebel Ride” is a strong and a rather aggressive speed machine and delves into the classic realms of true, straightforward Speed Metal.

Heads Will Roll might be another Swedish Metal album in a British sense, yet Katana certainly proved their worth.  It is most recommended to put a tab on these guys now and to watch out for their next move.


  1. Livin’ Without Fear
  2. Blade of Katana
  3. Phoenix on Fire
  4. Neverending World
  5. Heart of Tokyo
  6. Asia in Sight
  7. Across the Stars
  8. Rebel Ride
  9. Quest For Hades


Johan Bernspang – Vocals
Tobias Karlsson – Guitars
Patrick Essen – Guitars
Susanna Salminen – Bass
Anders Persson – Drums


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.