Artillery - Legions review
|Release date:||November 2013|
01. Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh)
02. God Feather
04. Wardrum Heartbeat
05. Global Flatline
06. Dies Irae
07. Anno Requiem
08. Enslaved To The Nether
09. Doctor Evil
10. Ethos Of Wrath
My impression of Artillery has always been something like this: "riff-riff-riffety-riff-shred-riff-riffety-riff." I am pleased to note that, while Artillery are no longer attempting to write every badass riff in existence, Legions well upholds the outstanding image I gleaned from Terror Squad years ago. These veteran thrashers have returned triumphantly once more, rejuvenated and ready to wreak havoc.
In typical Artillery fashion, Legions begins with a ripping scorcher of Middle Eastern character; right off the bat, "Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh)" sets the bar high with its sick licks and eerie Candlemass-like chorus. The pace pushes on at a pleasant full tilt until "Global Flatline," a moderately-paced affair with a thrash mid-section that proves to be one of the highlights. While it's not quite as riff-laden as previous releases, you cannot get away with making an Artillery album that does not have a myriad of interesting guitar parts; "Doctor Evil," in my opinion, contains some of the best examples on this album, and is also one of the overall best tracks.
Despite the loss of founding drummer Carsten Nielsen and singer Søren "Nico" Adamsen after 2011's My Blood, Artillery have not faltered in their creativity and energy. In fact, the new lineup sounds positively peachy - lively, youthful, and full of gusto. New vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl is a magnificent fit. His vocals are cleaner and more operatic than those of Nico or Flemming Rönsdorf, with some resemblance to Joacim Cans or Ronnie James Dio seeping in here and there. The harmonies add both a whole extra layer of strength to his presence and an interesting dimension to the sound. His voice seems not entirely suited to thrash; Dahl definitely strikes me as more of a traditional heavy metal singer, but he works very well here and has real talent.
Dahl's new vocal approach, the melodic elements of songs like "Enslaved To The Nether" and "Dies Irae," and the occasional appearance of keyboards add a noticeable power metal aspect to Legions. I hear flecks and drams and scintillas of many other bands; the comparison that continuously comes to my mind is HammerFall-meets-Kreator. This might not be the most accurate description, but it does get at the power metallized thrash feeling the album conveys. Artillery have been moving in this direction over the last few albums, but on Legions it seems to meet with the most success.
Legions feels more inspired and is an altogether stronger album than My Blood, which is itself a pretty good album. Some of that violent, old-school thrash aggression can be lost in the new, more streamlined fashion that Artillery has explored over the last couple of releases. This is indubitably a new age and a new sound for Artillery. Legions is, however, a very strong album, and a well-executed embodiment of that sound which makes the evolution more positive.
||Written on 06.12.2013 by Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since 2013. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.|
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