If we had an own section for classic albums here at TMO I would vote for “The IVth Crusade” to be there. This is one of the first CD’s I ever bought. I bought this and “Realm Of Chaos” by the same band in the same purchase. “Realm Of Chaos” disappointed me while “The IVth Crusade” floored me. I haven’t been listening to “Realm Of Chaos” for quite some years but I can confirm that “The IVth Crusade” still is an eminent Death Metal album. Its biggest problem is the production with its sharp guitar tone. It’s not a perfect album but a damn memorable nonetheless.
“Where Next To Conquer”, “This Time It’s War”, “Spearhead” and “Celestial Sanctuary” are perfect examples of why I regard this album as a classic. All songs on the album, or even their career, follows the same tried and tested formula. This formula is churning Death Metal without the use of blast beats but with a heavy focus on the double kicks. On top of this you have a kind of riffing that BOLT THROWER could have patented if they cared. This ensemble knows how to make crushing music. And they do it on their own terms.
If there is one song that deviates from the rest then it’s “Through The Ages”, the album ender. This is a slow song that could be classified as Doom Metal. The lyric are spoken and gives you an insight in the history of war. The last one mentioned is the Falkland war between Argentina and Great Britain. It would be nice if they made an extended version that included all the shit that has happened since 1992. It’s isn’t just the outro that carries a war theme; BOLT THROWER carries a habit of using war as an inspiration for their lyrics. This isn’t mindless scrabble about asphyxiating someone with their own bowels, though. I feel that BOLT THROWER dwells in a time when warriors were honourable and had an honour codec. I don’t know if that time ever did exist but using helicopters to hunt down wolves shows how far down the slide we (some) Norwegians have travelled. Those helicopter hunters should’ve been taken out with bazookas. (Online April 28, 2006)