Ahh, Bolt Thrower. What’s not to like about them? They’re like the History Channel death metal band. Their lyrical content soley deals with war and epic battles. They are also probably a candidate for the award of “Most consistent death metal band of all time.” As one reviewer claimed, “[Bolt Thrower] is like you’re favorite pizza. The box may have changed but it is still the same tasty product inside.”
For this album, original storyteller/vocalist Karl Willets is back after the band tried to co-opt ex-Benediction front man Dave Ingram who later had to jump ship for medical reasons. The most standout thing about this Bolt Thrower release is the guitar riffs and some of the paces they decided to use in certain songs. Even with these two things, it is still the same death/grind band as it always was. In fact, the only style change people comment on is that for their first three albums they had a slightly faster pace in the songs as opposed to the “IV Crusade” (and after) slightly slower pace. I don’t really look at that as much of a change in sound and anyone who demands Bolt Thrower put a couple blast beats here and there really likes a one dimensional style. I like all Bolt Thrower albums but just because a drummer can play the hi-hat, snare, and bass drum all at the same time doesn’t make any band amazing.
Great riffs, original vocalist back, a cool bass line here and there, sometimes a funky beat (4th track), and top notch production to boot. Those new to the band would be better served to check out 1991’s “Warmaster” instead and then come back to this album afterwards. On the other hand, seasoned foot soldiers in this bands fan battalion would be very well served to pick this up.