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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Review: Artillery - Penalty By Perception

Formed in the small Copenhagen suburb of Taastrup in 1982, Danish thrash heroes Artillery has stood strong in the scene despite several set-backs and break-ups over the years. Coming back with a vengeance in 2007, their fourth in that span and seventh full-length overall is as strong and effective as they were back in the heyday during their assaults in the late-80s.

Continuing on the theme from their last album which introduced their new singer, this material is much in that same manner of utterly pummeling thrash rhythms and crushing drumming barreling along through engaging up-tempo work-outs that can maneuver through a strong variety of tempo change-ups due to the incredibly strong riff-work at the forefront of the record. Being able to drive through tracks with an intense speed-driven straightforward thrashers like “In Defiance of Conformity,” “Mercy of Ignorance” and “Rites of War” or more melodic mid-paced efforts that contain a fair amount of toughened churning riff-work alongside the power-metal accented flairs in place throughout as in tracks “Live by the Scythe,” “Sin of Innocence” and “Deity Machine,” this a rather intriguing amount of variety makes for a wholly engaging dynamic throughout here. It readily thrashes when necessary, eases off into the mid-tempo when appropriate and offers the kind of melodic tendencies that don’t diminish the full-scale blistering tempos featured. Surely, the ballad “When the Magic is Gone” might not be for everyone’s personal tastes and it can seem to drone on a little too long at times but it still holds up well enough overall.

Certainly well on-par with many of their more fruitful and explosive efforts of the past even if this one doesn’t overwhelm like their true knock-out efforts did, this is still prime-era thrash at its greatest done by an entity around at the birth of it all which makes this one welcome enough for any raging thrash aficionado or fans of classics old-school metal. 9/10

Written by Don Anelli

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