Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal
14 November 2005

01. At First Light
02. Entrenched
03. The Killchain
04. Granite Wall
05. Those Once Loyal
06. Anti-Tank (Dead Armour)
07. Last Stand Of Humanity
08. Salvo
09. When Cannons Fade
10. A Symbol Of Eight [Limited Edition Digipack Bonus]

At last, the mighty Bolt Thrower have returned, with their inimitable style of pounding extreme Metal. 'Those Once Loyal' is Bolt Thrower's 8th full length studio album, and longtime fans of the band (such as myself) will have a fair idea of what to expect - mainly midtempo, crushing yet groove-laden Metal with great riff after great riff, complete with Bolt Thrower's own unique sense of melody. Although the standard version of this album has 9 tracks, the digipak (which I was lucky enough to get) also has a bonus track entitled 'A Symbol Of Eight'. Needless to say, it's worth obtaining the digipak if you get the chance.

Karl Willetts is back on vocals, and his death growl is as deep and powerful as ever. No disrespect to Dave Ingram (who performed vocal duties on 'Honour Valour Pride'), but I think Willett's voice is rather more suited to Bolt Thrower, and is an integral part of the band's distinctive sound.

The other bandmembers also put in a convincing performance, with deft drumming which is perhaps tighter than before, plenty of guitar solos, the aforementioned riffing - and the bass seems to play a more prominent role than on some of the previous albums, such as in the chorus to 'Entrenched' and the intro to 'Anti-Tank (Dead Armour)'.

The intro to 'The Killchain' will be familiar to some of you, as it is a continuation of the theme introduced on 'World Eater' and continued with 'Cenotaph', 'Embers' and 'Powder Burns' (each song appeared on different Bolt Thrower releases in the past). It's to the band's credit that they've remained true to their winning formula - even the cover photograph (of the Guard's Memorial in London) is like a visual representation of their approach, as a lot of Bolt Thrower's songs are about war, but with a sense of maturity and respect to the subject. For instance, the closing lines to 'Granite Wall' - "Mourning the tragic loss, life cut short, this broken column, immortal, names shall be carved in stone upon the granite wall".

Basically, anyone who's liked Bolt Thrower in the past should get this album without delay - I think it's an improvement on 'Honour Valour Pride', regaining some of the strength of 'For Victory' and the catchy edge of the criminally underrated 'Mercenary'. Certainly one of the strongest albums of 2005. As it says in the inlay: "In a world of compromise..... Some don't".

Band profile: Bolt Thrower
Album: Those Once Loyal


written by Richard | 23.11.2005


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Comments: 13  
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Möbius - 06.12.2006 at 01:00  
10 songs. 10 neckkillers!
breastfest - 10.01.2007 at 13:59  
its one of bolt throwers best albums,they just keep on delivering the goods
__Az__ - 11.05.2007 at 20:09  
Brilliant album, possibly better than War Master, which I also consider to be another great Bolt Thrower album, nevertheless, this album definately deserves a listen.
CrimsonSoaked - 14.07.2007 at 18:57  
recently got the album in question, and i can agree with the finnish metal press : at least the best death metal album of the year
ylside - 14.07.2007 at 19:45  
"Face to face with cold...dead..eyes"

Awesome album really, I can't remember how much I've played it again and again! Does deserve it's 9. Even if it's still the same rythmic riffing formula they've been using for ages, at least it's their best, in my opinion.
graywolf87 - 15.09.2007 at 23:05  
I like bolt thrower and don't understand why didn't get this album before...just bought it today, now I regret waiting so long...well better late than never. 9/10 good review it deserves it.
ioannisk - 25.05.2008 at 15:27  
One of the best death metal albums of all times!!!!!!!!!!:banger:
-DC-002- - 15.01.2009 at 11:06  
I really like this album. It shows a lot of maturity in the band even though its still has that classic Bolt Thrower groove
Jessing - 07.04.2009 at 15:02  
Brought it at wacken 08.. didn't know who bolt thrower was... so i took the chance & brought it.. i'm glad that i did
Deadmeat - 07.04.2009 at 18:59  
Boly thrower rule!!! and this one one rules the most!!! Great review!
Deadmeat - 08.05.2009 at 17:58  
Maybe the best album from this great band...!!!
Boxcar Willy - 09.02.2010 at 18:14  
Written by __Az__ on 11.05.2007 at 20:09

Brilliant album, possibly better than War Master, which I also consider to be another great Bolt Thrower album, nevertheless, this album definately deserves a listen.

alright then i'll listen to it!
AyΣm - 26.02.2010 at 16:34  
I'm not able to choose on all their albums, they're so great. Killchain is a f**ckin' killer song

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