It’s hard to predict how good an artist will be during these highly unpredictable, pandemic times, but X by Artillery is top notch, in fact it’s the best melodic thrash / power metal record of 2021.  It drops May 7 via Metal Blade Records.

The best way to describe X is pure heavy metal, elevated beyond what I’ve come to expect from this genre in the past. I think the following quote will shed more light on this:

Says guitarist Michael Stützer:

“We wanted to have the typical Artillery trademarks, like the riffs and hook lines in the usual combination together with aggression and melody. We always try to combine melodic thrash metal with elements from the heavy sounds of the 70s and the 80s, and this time with new elements in some of the songs.”

Quite frankly when I think of thrash, bands like Slayer, Overkill and Sodom come to mind. Be forewarned, if you’re looking for breakdown mosh beats and sonic brutality, you won’t find that here. Instead, Artillery have matured into the beast that we hear on X that has more in common with 90’s era Anthrax, Armored Saint and Bullet than the aforementioned bands.  And that, precisely, is why this album works as well as it does.

Artillery have masterfully woven together speed, aggression and melody in a manner that allows them to reach out and be expansive creatively without limitation, genre wise. X is pure steel that’s better parts melodic-thrash and power metal.  In terms of how good this record is, the only song out of 11 I didn’t like was “Varg I Veum”strictly because I couldn’t connect with it lyrically. “In Your Mind,” “Force Of Indifference” and “Turn Up The Rage” are solid bangers.

X is hooky, catchy, and a perfect example of what fist pumping metal should be. Throw those horns and buy this record. Artillery’s X has my vote for best melodic-thrash record of 2021.

Preorder X here. 

Follow Artillery on Twitter. 


Theron Moore has been freelance writing since 1989 as a staff writer for SLAM Magazine (Stateline Area Magazine, Northern IL / Southern WI), and contributor to Jake Wiseley’s (Red Decibel Records) Sheet Metal Magazine. He’s also published zines Louder Than God, The Saint Vitus Press & Poetry Review, For Those About to Rock, and blogs Church of the Necronomicon and All My Friends Are Rock Stars (AMFARS). Moore has contributed music, & movie reviews, and artist interviews to websites, Wormwood Chronicles, The Sludgelord, New Noise Magazine and Metal Forces Magazine. He is the author of All My Friends Are Rock Stars, Volumes I-III; Gangsters, Harlots and Thieves; Belvidere, Books & Guns; Blood on the Screen, Blood on the Page; all titles available on Amazon.

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