8 OUT OF 10
Being not too familiar with the music of Danish band, Artillery, I jumped at the chance to review their new album “Penalty of Perception” which was released on 25th March 2016 by Metal Blade. Known for their highly energetic, riff-centric, and often fast paced music I knew I was going to enjoy this one.
Formed in 1982 in Tasstup, a suburb of Copenhagen, by drummer Carsten Nielsen and guitarist Jørgen Sandau, they took the name Artillery from the Tank track “Heavy Artillery” which featured on the “Filth Hounds of Hades” album, and have seen many line-up changes over the years, including the departure of both founding members in 2012 and 1989 respectively.
Now in their second reunion after reforming in 2007, this is the eighth studio album released by a band who are still a strong tour de force on the metal circuit, and, this time round, they have produced a traditional, classically driven thrash metal album, that really does kick you in the teeth, and then some.
Opening with ‘In Defiance of Conformity’, a song I think most of us as metal heads can relate to lyrically, the album is a gritty, technical and aggressive aural assault, packed with fast, intense, adrenalin-fuelled riffing, stylish up-tempo gallops and melodic harmonies, all mixed together with tight thrash rhythms.
At 53 minutes, considered too long by some, the continuing pace is relentless, only slowing slightly for “When the Magic Is Gone,” before “Cosmic Brain,” one of the best songs on the album, kicks in again with a thunderous roar. There are hints of many bands in their playing, in particular the very Dream Evil-esque “Deity Machine”, but they bring together the various elements of thrash beautifully.
The band is tight, the riffs of the Stützer brothers, Michael and Morten, defining their sound, the rhythm section of bassist Peter Thorslund and drummer Josua Madsen holding their own and singer Michael Bastholm Dahl choosing more melodic tones than the harsh, brutal ones favoured by some.
This is a sometimes powerful, sometimes straightforward album, with technical riffs and breakneck shredding but has just the right balance of melodic touches and hard-hitting sections.
This album doesn’t break any new ground for the band, following on from where 2013’s Legions album, which I also checked out along with this one, left off, their sound already well-established………
……….but it should secure their position as one of the most respected veterans of the genre.
1. In Defiance Of Conformity
2. Live By The Scythe
3. Penalty By Perception
4. Mercy Of Ignorance
5. Rites Of War
6. Sin Of Innocence
7. When The Magic Is Gone
8. Cosmic Brain
9. Deity Machine
10. Path Of The Atheist
11. Welcome To The Mind Factory
Michael Bastholm Dahl – vocals
Michael Stutzer – guitars
Morten Stutzer – guitars
Peter Thorslund – bass
Josua Madsen – drums
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Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV