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Bullet - Dust to Gold

Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/10

This is just straightforward, pedal point, heavy chord, classic-sounding Heavy Metal, drawing from NWOBHM and their American and international counterparts of that era. Their sound is primarily AC/DC, early heavy Def Leppard, Accept, old Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, Raven, Killing is My Business Megadeth, and Kill ‘Em All Metallica, with wonderfully ugly vocals in the vein of Udo Dirkschneider, Brian Johnson, Tom Keifer (Cinderella), latter-day Kai Hansen, some Rob Halford, and some Joe Elliott. Where many of those bands moved on from this kind of sound to explore other things, it seems that Bullet are content to stay in this lane on this road.


This is Metal to wrinkle the faces of your friends and family with more mundane tastes. It’s *almost* OK for them, but as soon as vocalist Hells Hofers opens his mouth, they’ll be out. And good riddance - - this one is just for us.
The album cover prominently displays the “Bullet Bus,” which is the brick-shaped, ancient, unstoppable tour bus that carts Bullet to shows all over Sweden and beyond. It’s meant to represent everything about the band, and it works perfectly as metaphor. . . A little dated, unseemly, and time-worn, but powerful and built like a tank.
But despite the thrills of this balls-to-the-wall Hard Rock n’ Roll attack, with the edges frayed and sharpened by Hofers’ voice, deliver thrills, the real secret behind the excellend of Bullet’s Dust to Gold album are the melodic leads. The solos spin their blades well, but what’s truly great here are the killer little mid-level riffs, used sparingly and placed with expert strategy throughout. Check out “One More Round” to hear what I mean - - specifically the verses. The overly-predictable “Screams in the Night” elevates slightly from mediocrity on the strength of a couple of these measures too. I’m sometimes a sucker for a good title track, and “Dust to Gold” does a good job in this role, and also as the album’s closing track.
You’ll know right away if you’re the right audience for Bullet. If you are, then go ahead and thoroughly enjoy it. If you’re not, then just move along.

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