Artillery – The Face Of Fear (album)

Release date: 16th November 2018 || Genre: Thrash  || Label: Metal Blade Records

Denmark’s Artillery have been on the go, on and off, since the very beginnings of thrash metal. You can tell. They have shed none of the original idioms. However, their own take on the sound also embraces something of it’s synchronal surroundings, most noticeably old school and hair metal. That might sound like it carries a certain weight of cheddar, but it’s only true is so much as the same applies to Dio or Maiden.

Much of this is delivered by Michael Bastholm Dahl’s, whose vocals more than adequately match the power of previous frontmen. Like the rest of the music, things might not be as furious as they were in the early days, but this is largely the standard for first wave thrash bands. Since 2009, their albums have moved in this direction. This is simply a continuation of the theme.

One of the best things about thrash metal in general is how well it lends itself to hooks and choruses, while still being able to remain balls-out heavy. Artillery aren’t the most brutal. However, The Face Of Fear shows they are masters of their craft when it comes to getting a piece of music stuck in your head. For an old git who grew up on this sort of thing – before delving into the deeper oceans of extreme music – this is a delight. If I only had a passing knowledge and interest in this band before, TFOF is a game-changer.

Grade: A

Slow Dragon

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