Artillery - My Blood

Artillery... the band that fans were never sure would stay together since their last album, 'When Death Comes.' The band has a track record for putting out an album, then being silent for about nine years, then putting out another album and being silent again. So, with the release of 'My Blood,' listeners should be pretty excited to know that it seems like Artillery is here to stay. They're an older group; formed back in the the early 1980s. They mix thrash with heavy metal in the vein of Judas Priest and Slayer, so those who have not heard them before can know what to expect. It's fast, catchy, aggressive, and very old school, but sometimes 'My Blood' can be a bit misleading.

Take the first track for example, "Mi Sangre." It starts out with some middle eastern styled chanting and continues the theme throughout the track, granting listeners a different kind of take on Artillery that is different from the typical thrash. However, to see this as a mainstay of style would be greatly deceiving. As the album progresses, fans get more of the typical thrash one would hear from Priest and Slayer- fast (but not too fast), aggressive chugs with rasped vocals (sometimes sung in a higher heavy metal style) and extremely energetic solos. "Dark Days" features some of these excellent beauties. The tempo on lots of these tracks is easily digestible, but the anthem pace at the same time seems to hit or miss when it comes to trying to diversify the album. But, there are some things here that don't thrash the same way all the time. "Ain't Giving In" is a lot more melodic in a heavy metal fashion versus the usual Slayer-thrash style. "Prelude To Madness" is a great acoustic break from the chaos, and "Concealing In the Dark" has a bass intro that changes things up a bit while the overall sound is more rock oriented and slowed down a bit more for groove metal. And who could forget the epic style of "End of Eternity" which features some pretty decent singing that would make Dio proud. Like "Ain't Giving In" it merges heavy metal with power metal and thunders along with just the right of melody to stand out from all the other tracks.

Overall, for Artillery's normal standards, this ranks up as a decent thrash album for all who have certain expectations, but for new listeners it may take more time than usual to sink in. The album could have been a lot more varied in style and featured a few more stand out tracks, but much of the time one can jump from track to track right in the middle and forget that they were skipping over due to the similarities between songs. Judas Priest fans will probably find this the most appealing, but those hoping for more exotic sounding metal such as when the first track was presented may wish to seek their music elsewhere- don't expect too much progression or experimentation here. This is still old school Artillery in the new age, and it still thrashes hard. Hopefully they will continue to keep creating material over a brief span of years rather than go on another giant hiatus like before.

Originally written for Metal Forge

  1. Mi Sangre (The Blood Song)
  2. Monster
  3. Dark Days
  4. Death Is An Illusion
  5. Ain't Giving In
  6. Prelude To Madness
  7. Thrasher
  8. Warrior Blood
  9. Concealed In The Dark
  10. End Of Eternity
  11. The Great