Review ARTILLERY ‘X’

Artillery are true veterans when it comes to thrash metal. Consider a debut album that was unveiled in 1985, the Danish powerhouse was part of the growing momentum thrash metal had at the time. Although Taastrup and the San Francisco Bay Area can’t be really compared, the music that arose at both locations was very connected.

Artillery, that was bit of an on/off journey during the span of time and can be spilt in three ears of which the first one brought the name on the metal radar and it’s the current times that builds on it strongly. Artillery returned with full speed in 2009, when the quintet unleashed ‘When Death Comes’. These days it is ‘X’, that brings the forerunners of European thrash metal again on the agenda of metalheads.

It doesn’t need a deeper look into the crystal ball to realized that ‘X’ is the tenth longplayer, forged in the greater Copenhagen area and as not expected differently, it is a next bold statement. Although the new album is a next blast, the way to ‘X’ was a rough one. It was in 2019 when Morton Stützer passed away at the age of 57. Such a sad moment affects a band and Artillery is no exception. It was new chapter that had to be opened for the band and their new guitarist Kræn Meier was an important factor in this.

Photo credit: John Mortensson

Artillery opens with ‘Devils Symphony’ which a first riff attack, a song that is for sure not built on compromises. Full speed and with the right level of aggressiveness, the start into ‘X’ couldn’t be done much better. Next on the list is ‘In Thrash We Trust’ and the chorus, ” In thrash we trust – a belief that is just. In thrash we trust – you can, you will, you must” says a lot. No doubt, the song itself is a smashing thrash metal track, being heavy and driven by a heavy pounding beat. One can already foresee, fans being the choir for the excellently crafted chorus during live shows.

Although being rooted in thrash metal, Artillery always took a wider approach on music than solely sticking to one genre-given framework. Most of the offering comes with good hook lines, being the bridge to power metal. Songs like ‘In Your Mind’, with its hard-hitting rhythm, are exemplary for this approach. ‘The Ghost of Mine’, a powerful half-ballad, adds even more variety to the mix and it’s the irresistible chorus that makes the song shine even stronger.

Lyrically, Artillery is a band that addresses various topics and has some reality connected songs on the new album. The closer ‘Beggars in Black Suits’ is a such a track, a tune about the constant begging for money from officials that at the end not always ends up where it should.

‘X’ is an album that shows the full strength of the Danish metal pioneers, guys that never get tired of a good riff and a well-forged melody. Mixed with the right level of aggressiveness, the new album transports the heydays of thrash metal into the here and now, while still being anchored in the present with a sound that is powerful and dynamic. ‘X’, a headbangers delight.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. The Devil’s Symphony
  2. In Thrash we Trust
  3. Turn up The Rage
  4. Silver Cross
  5. In Your Mind
  6. The Ghost of Me
  7. Force of Indifference
  8. Varg i Veum
  9. Mors Ontologica
  10. Eternal Night
  11. Beggars In Black Suits

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: May 7th, 2021

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