In the 1980s, ARTILLERY was one of the best underground Thrash acts out there. Overlooked by the mainstream more often than not, these Danish Thrashers released some great quality records. When they came back in the late 90s, they continued to release some of the best underrated Thrash albums and even reached a new high point in their career with “When Death Comes." Thusly, if you love quality Thrash with hooks and solid craftsmanship, then you need to get your hands on the latest effort “My Blood."
Ironically, “My Blood” is a step down from the viciousness of sound that was their previous effort. That doesn’t stop it from still being a great combination of modern productions and old school writing and performing, which ARTILLERY has proven to be quite accomplished at without sound like they are just trying to be ‘retro.'
With a solid modern production in tow, “My Blood” lays it on thick with winding structures and an almost Power Metal like melodic layer. Vocalist Adamsen brings a decidedly old school approach to the music with soaring singing and occasional drops into harsh Thrash tones that only highlight the band’s range. The guitars weave intricate riffing and leads with relative ease while the modern bubbling bass and drum work (complete with snare pops and up tempo double bass) utilize the modern production to their benefit. Acoustic moments shimmer in the intro to “Mi Sangre” with its Spanish flair and the occasional ballad like “Ain’t Giving In” balances the more rambunctious “Thrasher” with it’s chaotic speed.
The progressive structures are the one that tends to run a little thin. Tracks can simply drag on further than what would be called for in the scheme of things. Songs like “Monster” might have been more effective as a three-minute riff killer than a five-minute meandering track. Fortunately, this is perhaps the only flaw on this album and it still makes for a giddy listen.
ARTILLERY still remains one of the best-overlooked acts in the Metal scene. They are a massively talented group whose chemistry and performances stand out and seemingly get stronger over time. “My Blood” might be a little long winded at times, but it’s still a rompous release that blends the old and the new into a catchy and Thrashy good time.
Songs to check out: “Mi Sangre (The Blood Song)," “Death Is An Illusion," “Thrasher."
(Online May 12, 2012)