Review: Artillery – Legion

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Preparing to present their third album since their 2007 reunion, and seventh overall, Artillery’s Legion will drop on the 26th November 2013.

The band have had a bit of a turbulent history with a fairly long “Past Members” list on the most accurate fact checking site in the world; Wikipedia. They have also disbanded twice since their formation back in 1982 so perhaps there’s a bit of making up for lost time going on here, which would explain why this album is so good.

Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh) is a solid opening track with a catchy chorus and even catchier riff to draw in the listener. Most importantly it sets the scene for the rest of the album as this “solidness” will continue.

The style is quite different from what many call thrash nowadays, while remaining heavy and fast, they put a lot of melody into their work and it pays off.

The two Stützer’s have outdone themselves on guitar; these are some tasty thrash riffs. The slower riffs match up with the drums to give you that classic groove (Dies Irae is a strong example of this) while the fast ones are happily brutal but don’t just rely on just hammering the open E string.

On a solo front, it’s always gratifying to hear musicians avoiding just going down the sweeping route to make a fast solo so there’s a strong point right there.

The rhythm section is tight as fuck. With headphones on you can hear Thorslund and Madsen playing in total sync with each other. More importantly, it’s interesting stuff they’re playing, a mix of beats and melodies to keep the listener interested rather than going for a constant pounding double kick, or dum, tshhh (repeat x 100) on a slower track.

Lead singer Dahl is a highlight of this album. He goes for a NWOBHM style vocal approach rather than the slightly more standard “fuck you in your face” modern thrash style fury.  He throws in a lot of long sustained notes but has enough of an edge to keep the brutalz or nothing mob satisfied.

When they go slower and slightly cleaner with Global Flatline they avoid going too wanky, I had feared a ballad was upon us but the riff at three minutes put that to rest. Like Flatline, Enslaved to the Nether presents the same style of slow start/heavy midsection that always seems to make the heavy section seem “heavier.”

Global Flatline is one of my personal highlights off of this release, along with God Feather and Legions. For those looking for the heaviest they have to offer on Legions, I would say look no farther than Anno Requiem which is one of the faster offerings along with Ethos of Wrath.

This is old school thrash at its finest, I have no doubt that if this had been released back in 1982 it would have been huge, and though many may disagree with me, I’d happily say this is one of Artillery’s strongest releases.

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