Halberd are a band from the United Kingdom that plays an old school form of thrash metal with elements of melodic death metal and this is a review of their 2013 ep "Ruthless Game' which was released by Metal Scrap Records.
"Intro" starts up the album with a melodic guitar riffs along with some drums and bass guitars which are also heavily influenced by thrash and after a while a small amount of guitar leads and clean playing are added in.
"Wicked Patterns" the first real song on the album opens up with heavy old school thrash metal guitar riffs and drums which also leads up to some thrash style vocals that are in between being aggressive and melodic and after awhile the guitar riffing starts utilizing more melody as well as bringing in some guitar solos and leads.
"Army Of Reproachers" begins with heavy guitar and bass riffs along with some drums which also leads up to some thrash style vocals and melodic guitar riffing and after a couple of minutes there is a brief sue of guitar solos and leads being utilized.
"Ruthless Game" which is also the title track of the album begins with heavy guitar riffs and drums as well as a small amount of blast beats before adding in the thrash style vocals which have a power metal influence to them as well as a brief use of aggressive screams and you can hear some melody being added into the guitar riffing before adding in solos and leads.
"The Time Of Temptation" which is also the last song on the album starts up with heavy guitar riffs and drums along with some solos and leads a few seconds later which leads up to the power/thrash metal vocals that utilize some aggressive screams as well as the guitar riffing utilizing some melody.
Song lyrics cover everyday themes, while the production has a very strong, powerful, heavy and professional sound where you can hear all of the musical instruments that are present on this ep.
In my opinion Halberd are a very great sounding thrash metal band, and if you are a fan of this musicla genre, you should check out this ep. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Wicked Patterns" and "Ruthless Game". RECOMMENDED BUY.

OccultBlackMetal (Extreme Underground Music Zine)

While Russia may be no stranger to the realm of heavy metal, I have to say it’s not the first country I think of when I hear thrash metal being discussed, being mostly known for their (excellent) black and pagan metal bands. That’s too bad, really, because there have been a few decent bands from there, Master being a great example. As early as 1987, they were playing at blurring speeds, and even went on to tour with the likes of Sepultura. Halberd, a brand new band from St. Petersburg, make for a pretty convincing case that Russia shouldn’t be counted out of the race when it comes to all things fast and heavy.
I can’t tell you how relieved I am that there are still bands that want to go back to the roots and not put out more of the “pizza, beer, and zombies” cross-over variety of thrash. It has its place, sure, but it has been done to death. Even when it comes to this classic style, Halberd departs from the norm, seeming more content in playing a more melodic form of thrash that has more in common with German thrash gods Kreator and Destruction than the usual Exodus and Testament that many of the “classic” thrash bands play these days. Even better, the music isn’t really a rip-off of the aforementioned bands, but rather a homage to them. The guitar work, provided by Denis Ivanov and Vladimir Govoruhin, is fast and intense without forsaking melody. Roman Bobrov has a very clear voice which is simultaneously melodic and raspy, very much along the lines of Mille Petrozza from Kreator. The rhythm section keep the pace going fast and furious throughout, and mixed perfectly. Really, the production is damned impressive. especially when you consider that this is an independent band;  You can hear every instrument without trouble, while still managing not to sound overly polished. There’s just enough grit in the tone to really give this album teeth, and enough hefty low-end to pound the listener into submission.
Stil, there’s one glaring misstep that keeps this from being a perfect record, and that would be the intro track. While it has melody and speed, it just doesn’t have the kick to the stomach that the rest of the album has. It almost sounds like a different band altogether. There aren’t any vocals, it ends a little too abruptly, and just doesn’t set the right tone to give you a taste of what to expect from the rest of the album. There’s a bit of melodic death metal feel to it, a la In Flames, which although isn’t entirely different from the German thrash vibe going on the rest of the time, it still causes a kind of hiccups when it is followed by an absolutely ferocious riff on the next track. Also, I wish the album was a bit longer, something that’s a testament to the quality of the overall material.
There’s a lot to like in Ruthless Game, and you should definitely pick up a copy if you’re a fan of Kreator, Destruction, or earlier Annihilator.

4,5/5
Bradley Barnes (Metal Blast)

Founded in July 2012 in St. Petersburg to play some classic thrash metal. This is their first release. It definitely works. Seems like they know what they're doing. A nice tribute to the old school of thrash. In other words, nothing new at all. Just pure thrash just the way I want it. Give it a try!

Jimmy Blom (Hard Rock Info)

Halberd hails from Saint Petersburg, Russia and the Ruthless Game MCD is their five track (an intro plus four tracks) debut for Metal Scrap Records. The record label keeps providing us with interesting acts from Eastern Europe, like Halberd. The band is around since 2012 and is kind of a blank page in heavy metal history. I dont know if they ever will claim their place in the book of heavy metal, but Ruthless Game is a convincing first step into their musical career. Their music is pretty aggressive form of thrash metal with melodic twin guitar parts and lots of hooks and rich musical textures. The singer is pretty good as well and fortunately he doesnt have a Russian accent like you often hear in mediocre action movies. The production is great as well and I really cant find anything to complain about. Fans of a new-fashioned present day Metal Church or Toxik should definitely check Halberd out.

78/100
Koen (Lords Of Metal)

legacy 89Soliden Thrash Metal bieten HALBERD aus St. Petersburg mit ihrer Debüt-EP an, der sich nach dem etwas sinnlosen Instrumental-Intro mit vier Nummern auf internationalem Parkett beweisen möchte. Dabei achten die fünf Russen bei ihrer Kompositionen durchaus auf eine gewisse Eingängigkeit, Melodien, gekonnte Zitate aus der NWOBHM und mengen dem Ganzen ein wenig modernen Groove bei, was zu einem wie eingangs beurteilten, soliden Ergebnis führt. Kreator in ihrer Experimentierphase Mitte bis Ende der 90er kommen einem immer wieder in den Sinn, wobei HALBERD weder annähernd das Charisma noch das Songwriting von Petrozza & Co. reproduzieren können; auch eine Prise Sacred Reich lässt sich herausdeuten. Die gute Viertelstunde Spielzeit bringt die Erkenntnis, dass HALBERD nach eineinhalbjähriger Band-Geschichte durchaus etwas Produktives zustande bringen können, ohne die Thrash Metal-Szene mit einer neuen Erkenntnis oder etwas Zwingendem zu behelligen. Wem das reicht, der greift zu.

6 Punkte
Harald Deschler (LEGACY #89)

Halberd is a 5-piece Russian Thrash Metal act that was just formed in 2012. These Russian Thrash Metal "rookies," however, play their Thrash Metal with a convincing touch.
It's actually the American/Canadian style of Thrash Metal from which Halberd has absorbed some influences from and it shows in their melodic and surprisingly catchy Thrash. Halberd's songs flow effortlessly, clearly indicating we are talking about a well-rehearsed group here, one that has obviously set some clear goals for themselves as far as their music is concerned. It's actually guitarists Denis Ivanov and Saint Wild who manage to bring the most ass-kickery to the music with their intense and crisp axe work. My guess is that they are pretty familiar with this guy named Jeff Waters, as far as their playing style is concerned. Vocalist and bassist Dmitry Zubov's bass parts are non-existent in the mix while his vocal parts suffer a bit, too. He's OK, vocally, but I'm afraid that's about it. Also, the drum sound has been left a bit in the background, costing the songs a bit of heaviness and punch that could have made this EP stand out more.
Ruthless Game is still a decent start from this Russian Thrash Metal bunch, which appears to have better things ahead. With this in mind, I have good reason to start watching for their next release.

3/5
Luxi Lahtinen (Metal Crypt)

Another band from Ukraine. Black metal with a vintage sound and i would have to mention influences hovering around Dimmu Borgir, they have a bit of Death metal as well.9 tracks that will draw your own conclusions on their originality.

Paul Caravasi (Soulgrinder Zine)

slowly we roth magazine 6Surprisingly good this debut EP by Russian Halberd, it's already the 5th or 6th time I'm spinning it and still enjoying it. The band was founded in 2012 and they already managed to get a deal with Ukrainian Metal Scrap Records. This debut EP is made of 5 tracks of pure, traditional Thrash Metal a la Megadeth I'd say although the band's influences range within the whole Thrash Metal spectre so we're not dealing with a copycat. Although young they seem to have the necessary technical abilities to come up with catchy and at the same time interesting tunes and still keep it traditional and old-school. Nothing new for the scene, but definitely an enjoyable EP full of catchy elements, backed up by a crystal-clean sound and excellent production, worth an audition for sure.

8/10
Adrian (Pest Webzine/Slowly We Roth Magazine)

I’m not too sure about the band name but there is not much I can do about it but to accept it. But based on the name I get a feeling that this could very well end up being some sort of sing along drinking kind of metal. A humpa kind of metal band. This did turn out to not be a humpa metal band. Instead they got a thrash groove going. Don’t know how sing-a-long friendly this is but hey, give it a try if you feel like it. I get a kinda German thrash feeling along the lines of Assassin or Darkness when I listen to this. And for that reason alone I like it. But then there is another dimension to this too that just adds to me positive end result. This turned out really cool.

Anders Ekdahl (Battle Helm)

Rlyeh zine 12Piątka Rosjan debiutuje tym krótkim materiałem. Mamy tu przypadek zespołu Thrash Metalowego, który próbuje maczać palce w różnych odmianach Thrashu, posuwając się niekiedy nawet w rejony HC. W lepszych momentach słychać THE NO MADS, czasem przeleci coś z klimatów TANKARD, ale ogólnie te pozytywne odczucia są rujnowane przez czyste brzmienie i nasilenie skocznych partii. Instrumentalnie jest bardzo dobrze, solówki, przejścia, czy rzadkie bo rzadkie, ale jak już to udane- harmoniczne gitary. No właśnie. I tu dochodzę do momentu, kiedy słucham czegoś co mi się podoba, ale wkurwiam się na zespół jak potrafi spierdolić jakiś dobry pomysł. No bo taki np. refren, czy przejście w „Army Of Reproachers”- zasługują na dużo lepszą oprawę niż przeciętne zwrotki. Czy ta fantazyjna, z sercem zagrana solówka- no miód dla ucha! A tu ni stąd ni zowąd te rwane chujowe gitary. A było już jak MEGADETH hehe! Myślę, że w takim wypadku należy dać zespołowi szansę bo choć słychać, że stać ich na wiele, tak póki co- wyszło nie do końca tak, jak powinno.

6,5/10
R'lyeh 'zine #12

 

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