BattleX – Slovenian Heavy Metal on the Rise
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Heavy metal is something of a European tradition and is still going strong. Many bands have reached stardom and many more are trying to make a name for themselves. One such band still on their way to the top is Slovenia’s BattleX.
Formed in 2007 in Maribor, Slovenia, BattleX has come a long way since their humble beginnings releasing their debut EP ‘The Point of No Return’ in 2010 and their first full length ‘Imminent Downfall’ at the dawn of 2016. Along the way the band has seen a couple of lineup changes that saw all but two original members, Filip Gornik (lead guitar) and Simeon Garkov (drums), remaining.
“The reason was that an EP was to be recorded and they just couldn’t afford to lose time. That’s when Blaž and I stepped in; we learned all the material in about a month, and I’d only been playing guitar for two years and Blaž had been playing bass for probably just around that much as well, so it was quite a challenge,” says vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jaka ‘Jackie’ Črešnar on the entrance of himself and bassist Blaž Lorenčič.
Following the release of the ‘Point of No Return EP,’ the band parted ways with their lead singer, Matej Slavinec, but rather than bringing in a fresh body, Črešna stepped up to perform both rhythm guitar and vocals, which he has done ever since.
Putting out their EP and rocking a progressive melodic thrash metal since the beginning, the band prefers to skip the genres and just call themselves heavy metal.
“I’d say we’re a mix of thrash and heavy metal with a few modern elements. We try not to dwell too much on what we’re supposed to be, we’ll leave that up to you, the listener, to decide,” says Črešnar.
Whether you call them thrash or just plain old heavy metal, BattleX clearly has influences from all across the board, especially old school thrash metal and technical death metal.
Lyrically, the band takes inspiration from the world around them. According to Črešnar their lyrics have touched on everlasting “Middle Eastern war (Whispers in the Sand), corruption (Dignity), hypocrisy (Face to Face), religion (The Hierophant), humanity’s need to destroy (Imminent Downfall),“ as well as the general subject of heavy metal such as ‘Raise Hell’ and ‘Break Your Bones.’
“With that in mind, I think the next album will be more introspective – I found it easier to find inspiration in looking into myself and talking with people who do the same. So, in a way, it seems more personal and relatable,” says Črešnar.
For the next album, the band has three songs so far, which touch on pride, perseverance and rage. In that regard, the band is currently working on their second album, but the pre-release single is currently on hold due to Črešnar heading to the United Kingdom to finish his master’s studies.
“We won’t be sleeping in the writing department, but recording and playing might prove a bit difficult with band members all over Europe,” he says confidently.
Before the band takes a break from shows and rehearsing, BattleX has a couple of surprises lined up for fans around the Europe including a three day Polish tour in support of Negligence and Artillery.
As for the live show, Črešnar puts it ever so eloquently:
“Relentless energy and a solid performance. We don’t fuck around in terms of playing. We fuck around plenty on stage, have fun, scream, run, jump, invite the audience to go crazy, drink a beer or two, but when it’s time to lay it down, we lay it down.”
Though the band plans on tearing down the house across Poland, BattleX will essentially be on vacation from February to summer 2017. Once they’re back together, however, they’ll be hungry and ready to rock. That being said, the band plans to record their next full length in late 2017. In the meantime, the band’s latest album is available on their official bandcamp HERE and don’t forget to check out the video for ‘Imminent Downfall.’