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Artillery: When Death Comes

Album Notes

Underrated Danish thrashers Artillery have made an impressive comeback on this disc, their first studio release since 1999's B.A.C.K. They've obviously got lots of support from their label, Metal Mind -- the band's entire prior discography was collected in a 2007 box set, Through the Years, which also included tons of bonus tracks. On this disc, the band's core -- the guitar-playing Stytzer brothers, Michael and Morten -- remain, but longtime vocalist Flemming Rönsdorf has been replaced by Soren Nico Adamsen, a change that had some of the band's longtime fans worried. Fortunately, he's a terrific addition to the group, a mid-range singer (neither a growler nor a Rob Halford-esque shrieker) who may remind some of former Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna, especially when the group's thrash riffing becomes particularly '80s-esque. Which it does quite a bit. Artillery is not a band that's changed with the times -- they're still doing exactly what they did at the beginning of their career. "Delusions of Grandeur" offers some variation from the band's head-down, high-speed riffing style, but even the acoustic guitar melody that dominates this song is fast and intricate. "Not a Nightmare" starts off slow and doomy, but it's a bait-and-switch, as the pummeling begins soon enough. "Damned Religion" is another slow one, sounding almost like Heaven & Hell as Adamsen attempts Ronnie James Dio-esque bombast, with mixed results. One of the best things about When Death Comes, though, is the powerful production and mixing; every instrument is clear and thunderous, especially Peter Thorslund's bass. This is a quality disc recommended to any metalhead, not just thrash diehards. ~ Phil Freeman


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