Quick Review: “The Face of Fear” by Artillery

Artillery, from Denmark, is another of those formations whose tormented history may have precluded the achievement of a success comparable with the effort they’ve made to develop their style of music. In their third reincarnation since their initial formation in 1982, Artillery still continue to play the same brilliant mix of thrash and speed metal that they have been offering to their fans since their early steps in the metal world. And although today this style of music is certainly less “trendy” than it was thirty-five years ago, their songs still manifest the positive and energetic spirit that we have always appreciated in their music.

The Face of Fear, which is Artillery’s new LP, is the fifth full lenght release after their latest reformation in 2008, and the ninth of their whole discography. Five albums in less than ten years is definitely a good sign of vitality for a band of metal veterans as they are, especially because the overall quality of their work is still quite good. To some extent, it really seems that these metalheads are trying to recover what they couldn’t do after the band disbanded in 1991.

From a musical point of view, The Face of Fear s characterized by an enjoyable and well balanced mix of fierce and fast thrash riffs and hyper-technical heavy metal moments. The recipe is then enriched by many references, in some cases real tributes, to melodies or riffs that are nowadays part of the collective memory of heavy metal. The title-track is the song which more than any other summarizes this peculiar approach adopted by the band: we have an exciting thrash riff with clean and engaging vocals, followed by a classic heavy-metal chorus, and a pre-solo section where the reference to 70’s rock and roll, and Deep Purple in particular, is so obvious that it cannot be anything else but wanted (see minute 2:12 to listen to it).

With this new LP, Artillery keep to providing all fans of thrash and heavy metal with another collection of genuine and solid songs, with a style that may be described as the combination of technical heavy metal with Bay Area thrash. Surely the brilliance of their early years has now faded and even the genre that they play today is less modern and influential than it was at the beginning, but listening to one of their records remains always a very rewarding experience.

The Face of Fear can be streamed from Spotify

Standout tracks: the title track The Face of Fear, Through the Ages of Atrocity and Thirst for the Worst

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