If there is a band that will never change, a band of which you also wish that they never do, then that band is BOLT THROWER. Since their beginnings (ok, almost) these Englishmen release only top notch albums, and the only changes from album to album consisted in the turn taking coming and going of vocalists Karl Willets and Dave Ingram.
Now (finally) it’s again Karl Willets’ turn to grunt, and what can I say? With “Those Once Loyal” BOLT THROWER delivered the Death Metal album of the year. There’s no reason to save that up for the end of the review. BOLT THROWER may not be the fastest or technically most sophisticated Death Metal band, but in my opinion they are the most intense and brutal, and yet, their tunes are catchy, which is not so obvious in this extreme genre. I love their previous releases, but “Those Once Loyal” tops all of them. There simply are no poor songs by BOLT THROWER, in contrary, with tracks like “Last Stand Of Humanity”, “When Cannons Fade” and the opener “At First Light” these guys conquer the throne of Death Metal. Some further favourites of mine are the rolling “Anti-Tank” and the riff monster “The Killchain”, which actually reminds me of “Cenotaph” and “Powder Burns”. If these songs don’t blow off your head, then you must be dead already.
I give this album 10 points not only because of the compositions, but also because of its perfect sound. Each of the instruments is easily distinguishable, as easily actually as never before on a BOLT THROWER record. What’s more, returnee Karl Willets delivers the most impressive and understandable growls of his career. I don’t think I need to say more about any song in particular, you just need to have a listen. The Brits are a riot squad which leaves nothing but burnt soil behind them, and they create an atmosphere that can only be classified as brutal. These are all the words you need to describe their sound.
“Those Once Loyal“ marks the climax of this band’s history, it outshines their entire impressive back catalogue. BOLT THROWER Fans won’t hesitate to buy that one, but also for everybody else it is simply mandatory to have a listen!
May those critics, who always reproach BOLT THROWER for being monotonous finally shut their mouths for good and understand that none of their cannons can stop this battle tank named BOLT THROWER. To make it short: “Those Once Loyal” is the best Death Metal album of 2005, and not even NILE can change that.
Check out tips: each and every song (Online February 4, 2006)