Rating:
9.0
Bolt Thrower - ...For Victory
1994


Disc I
01. War
02. Remembrance
03. When Glory Beckons
04. ...For Victory
05. Graven Image
06. Lest We Forget
07. Silent Demise
08. Forever Fallen
09. Tank (MK 1)
10. Armageddon Bound
11. Overlord [bonus]

Disc II [Live War] [Live at Manchester UK]
01. The IVth Crusade
02. Dying Creed
03. Spearhead
04. Unleashed Upon Mankind
05. Ritual
06. Where Next To Conquer
07. Warmaster
08. As The World Burns
09. Cenotaph


Bolt Thrower's approach to death metal is pretty unmistakable. They sound like an oncoming division of tanks… an unyielding and unstoppable juggernaut that will crush everything in their path without remorse.

1994's '… For Victory' finds them in peak form - they have taken their by now familiar formula and refined it to near perfection. While some bands that rely on the same approach again and again often find themselves stagnating and ultimately becoming stale and irrelevant, Bolt Thrower somehow managed to constantly tweak and improve upon their approach with each album, leading up to what I think is their best effort in '…For Victory.'

After the album opens with minute and change mid-paced instrumental piece, 'War,' artillery fire announces the arrival 'Remembrance' and all the elements that make Bolt Thrower come slamming into place - the crushing guitar riffs, the thundering drums, and Karl Willetts' voice are the sonic embodiment of "Shock and Awe."

Rather than just pound away at a full gallop for 40 minutes and calling it an album, Bolt Thrower also have a great sense of dynamics in regards to song structure, and understand the importance of mixing it up from time to time. Equally important to their sound are the slow, grinding tempos that chug along as well as melodic guitar lines that somehow capture the melancholy and sorrow of the battlefield after the battle.

The band seamlessly alternates these tempos in such a way that none of the riffs drag on too long, nor do the tempo changes seem too abrupt. The songs themselves also adhere to this concept, shifting tempos back and forth and all falling in around the four to four-and-a-half minute mark, aside from the closer, 'Armageddon Bound' which lingers on a little to close out the album in the same manner that 'War' opens it. That is before a few more artillery shots ring out and only silence remains.

Frankly, the album is exceptionally solid from top to bottom, not a weak one in the lot. Stand out tracks include 'Remembrance', 'Lest We Forget', and the title track, '...For Victory.'

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Bolt Thrower
Album: ...For Victory


 


written by BitterCOld | 19.08.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Richard - 10.09.2008 at 04:46  
I agree with a lot of this review. I like how you made reference to guitar melodies capturing "the melancholy and sorrow of the battlefield" - this side of Bolt Thrower isn't usually spoken about. People tend to focus on the heaviness etc., which is great, but there is definitely a melancholic edge to some moments in some songs, although still in a heavy way.
-DC-002- - 15.01.2009 at 11:08  
This album is growing on me. I liked it when I first heard it, I just had high expectations for it when I got it.

Edit: [2014] Fucking legendary.
Aaron_W - 13.02.2009 at 18:41  
The intro to the review is the most perfect summary of Bolt Thrower I've read. I always tell people their music make me feel like I"m sitting in the commanders position on a tank in an armored column rolling across the plains.

Incredible album, some riffs and grooves that just take your body over and force you to bang.
Deadmeat - 08.05.2009 at 17:58  
This is one of bol throwers best... a great album!!! also, nice review!!!
SWAMPL0RD - 11.02.2014 at 22:11  
This is some heavy duty shit right here! Surprised I never heard of Bolt Thrower till I listened to Carcass radio on Pandora

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