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SERPENTINE PATH
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'Erased By The Dark'
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'The Heart (Save Me)'
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HARDWARES

ARTILLERY

Legions

(Metal Blade Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 7.5

Danish melodic thrashers ARTILLERY achieved a respectable underground following in the early eighties and has put out some solid affairs throughout its existence. The band has matured musically with each album while enduring a few lineup changes along the way (especially with vocalists) and has broken up and reformed twice. On its seventh full-length release, Legions, Artillery retain its ability to weave technical riffs and masterful melodies. Early nods to NWOBHM, Bay Area thrash (FORBIDDEN especially) traditional thrash (early OVERKILL) and USPM (early OMEN) made up Artillery’s unique sound in the beginning. With new vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl in tow, he brings a whole new powerful and melodic dynamic to the band. But one thing that remains a constant are brothers Morten (who played bass in the early days) and Michael Stützer’s consistent, versatile and technical guitar wizardry. What Artillery had in the early days (and still has), are huge, bludgeoning riffs. The violence and aggression is still there, albeit just a little bit more subdued and polished. Lead-off track ‘Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh)’ has that familiar Middle Eastern flavor that Artillery were known for. It’s a high-charging song complete with blistering trade-off guitar leads and multi-layered vocal harmonies. Chunky, thrashing riffs and pounding drum beats propel ‘God Feather’ while marching, militaristic drumming and dual, ACCEPT-like razor riffing decorates the title track. Dahl delivers majestic singalong choruses throughout the disc. However, die-hard ’80s speed/thrash metal purists that remember the band’s old-school sound might have a problem with its newer, more melodic approach. Legion might not be as dangerous as Artillery’s first three releases, but it’s a fine, modern chunk of power/thrash metal for a new generation of fans to enjoy.



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