Gird up your loins! Denmark’s thrash metal outfit Artillery is set to drop a new album November 16 Entitled The Face of Fear, the album encompasses 11 tracks total, nine original tracks, and two resurrected, rerecorded songs.
First formed in 1982 by drummer Carsten Nielsen and guitarist Jorgen Sandau, the band borrowed its name from a song by Tank called “Heavy Artillery.” Since then, the band has passed through beau coup ups and downs. During the 80s, they dropped three albums and toured extensively. In 1991, Artillery split up only to reform seven years later followed by another break up in 2000. After the now seemingly obligatory Tribulation-like hiatus of seven years, they got back together.
Since their last restoration, Artillery has dropped a new album about every two years. The impending album, The Face of Fear, picks up where the previous Penalty By Perception left off: potent euro thrash metal energy along with tinges of NorCal thrash flavors.
Opening with the title track, a potent head banger with Thor-like drums and snarling and rabid guitar riffs, the track showcases full-bore velocity. This is definitely one of the primo tracks on the album. “Crossroads to Conspiracy” combines Artillery’s frenetic harmonic momentum with the punchy bluntness of NorCal thrash i.e. surging filaments of straight-ahead rock.
“Sworn Utopia” takes the Americanized heft to the next level, pushing along a more direct route a la Megadeth. The bridge prior to the chorus is stellar, but the chorus comes across as rigid, almost perfunctory. “Through the Ages of Atrocity” mousses the oomph-factor up to nuclear intensity, riding a bass line throbbing with Jovian muscularity. This track is off-the-chain impressive.
Of the two resurrected tracks, “Mind of No Return” is the best despite resembling Motley Crue on steroids. The other is “Doctor Evil,” which is passable but not grand by any means. Too many “daffodil riffs” resulting in harmonic lethargy.
On the whole, The Face of Fear is a deluxe thrash album with oodles of sonic impetus, crushing drums, and fulminating riffs.