Album brings back old school thrash metal
Danish thrash metal band Artillery is known for blowing people away with their style of metal music, and earlier this month, the band released their album X. What is pleasant about this record is how Artillery stays true to the styling of thrash metal. Michael Bastholm’s vocals impact each track, adding a thrilling harmonizing sound, Michael Stützer’s, Kræn Meier’s and Peter Thorslund’s guitar skills shine brightly with hard-hitting riffs throughout the album as well. Josua Madsen’s drum playing keeps everything together by staying on a simple musical tempo. The album X has the old-school vibe of thrash metal.
The ever electrifying track “Turn up the Rage” bleeds righteous guitar playing from Stützer and Meier. While listening to this piece, it is nice to hear what kind of chemistry Stützer and Meier have with each other and when both guitarists start to play harmonizing riffs, it is amazing how each note creates a source of energy that helps keep the song together. Throughout the composition, Meier blasts the ears with sturdy, mind-blowing riffs. Stützer slays the background with a hard-hitting guitar solo that will cause listeners to air guitar while hearing this tune. “Turn up the Rage” displays what Stützer and Meier can do as musicians.
“Silver Cross” is a thunderous, soul shaker that has epic bass guitar playing from Thorslund. Right at the beginning of the tune, the noise of heavy guitar riffs rise, emerging from the background, and then very quickly, Thorslund starts to play hard, kicking up the tempo. The fast-paced notes contribute to the craziness of this piece, and Thorslund does a great job on “Silver Cross” because he contributes to insanity with wild bass guitar notes.
“The Ghost of Me” is the most well-written song on X due to the meaning behind the lyrics making it relatable to any listener. The lyrics “Am I a ghost or living today?/ Why don’t anybody hear what I say/ Just walking by, noticing nothing/ I’m right here” suggests Bastholm is questioning if he is alive in a society where people do not notice him, and in a way, it does feel like he is feeling alone because he does not have people to talk to or people do not care about him and they choose to ignore him. “The Ghost of Me” is an honest piece that has a strong kick of emotions.
A truly mesmerizing song, “Mors Ontologica” is one of the tunes which displays a wonderful vocal performance from Bastholm. His vocal style is perfect for thrash metal. Bastholm uses his sharp voice to create a harmonic feeling that blends with the theme and the way he wails out the lyrics give this composition a sense of what metal sounded like three decades ago. Bastholm’s vocals are smooth and filled with the element of what old-school metal sounds like.
The closing song, “Beggars in Black Suits,” not only gives X a proper ending, it also has Madsen playing his heart out on the drums. The clashing sounds of cymbals and drums heads getting smacked give this composition a heavy dose of what thrash metal sounds like from a drummer’s perspective. Madsen is playing on a basic musical tempo, where the pattern starts to accelerate after each drum beat, and the sound quality is awesome by how Madsen manages to stay attuned with the rest of the band while playing at a faster pace. “Beggars in Black Suits” seals the deal on the album, and Madsen’s drum playing shines brightly on this song.
Artillery’s X is a promising record that shows people how strong metal music can be when you have a singer who can give listeners goosebumps on every track and musicians who are not afraid to create endless madness.