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Artillery – When Death Comes

Label: Metal Mind
Format: CD
Released: 2009
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 8.5/ 10


I was sleepin on this album over the summer when it was released. I wish I hadn’t. With several E.P.s, a well received debut ("Fear Tomorrow" in 1985), and two regarded albums in the 80s; "Terror Squad" in 1987 and "By Inheritance" in 1990, Denmark’s answer to thrash metal Artillery disbanded by 1992 after several lineup changes. Reforming for 1999’s "B.A.C.K.", followed by the DVD/CD set "One Foot in the Grave, Another One in the Thrash" in 08, original guitarists Michael and Morten Stützer reunited with Peter Thorslund (bass) and Carsten N. Nielsen (drums). With original singer Flemming Rönsdorf uninterested Artillery recruited Søren Adamsen who makes his recording debut on "When Death Comes".

 

Unlike many who have a hard time getting back on the horse after a long hiatus and need a couple records to work out the bugs, Artillery return with a ten song arsenal ready for battle. The title track and more so ‘Upon My Cross I Crawl' (excellent title and chorus section) come out bullets flying everywhere with fresh thrash riffing and pounding beats.

Single/video ’10,000 Devils’ is one of my favorite songs of 09. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. The opening twin leads are infectious and it just gets better from here with a riff and catchy mid tempo thrash beat Metallica would be jealous of and a rampaging solo section with the second half perfectly seeing the melody line reprise. And let’s not forget the vocals which complete the arrangement. Søren adds a touch of grit to his overall melodic tone and many times reminds of Henning Basse from Metalium (who I think is one of the best singers to emerge in the 2000s).

A touch of the riff in Slayer’s ‘Black Magic’ can be heard in the verses for ‘Sandbox Philosophy’ and I like the rhythm change midway thru. ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ starts with clean guitar and a less aggressive vocal before kickin in to hop skip and a jump beat. ‘Not A Nightmare’ sort a moves along like a Candlemass arrangement a bit (as with ‘Damned Religion’) with crunchy riffs before hitting its gallop.

Americans do your homework this is European thrash metal you should check out. Digipak edition includes 2 bonus tracks.

 
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