Artillery: My Blood

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Artillery: My Blood
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Artillery: My Blood
Thrash Metal
Metal Mind Records
April 5th, 2011
Release length: 53:30
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Artillery is a well established Thrash act from Denmark that never really got a lot of the attention the band deserved. Their first full-length effort, Fear of Tomorrow, dropped back in 1985, and since then the group has issued five full-lengths including that one, with a ten year gap between the fourth album (B.A.C.K.) and the fifth album (When Death Comes) with no new full-length studio recordings being offered. Two years after their previous effort, Artillery return with My Blood through Metal Mind Productions, and intend to carry on their legacy through pounding, driving Thrash Metal.

My Blood is often a heavy, fast paced album that brings a great deal of intensity with it, but at the start of this effort you wouldn’t really expect it. The album starts off with “Mi Sangre (The Blood Song)”, which does feature a decent amount of intensity to it, but the song really has more of an energetic vibe to it the second the opening that sounds more like a Middle Eastern set up ends. The track is catchier then being really intense, but the heavier elements and fantastic guitar work more then make up for all of that and leave you with this instant head bang worthy track with a catchy as hell chorus that will have the listener chanting along immediately with it and going back right away to do it all over again. The intensity does come forward on the following track, but in a different form, and that’s more for the old-school Thrash attitude coupled with a hint of Crossover Punk, which really shows a more raw and aggressive side of the band that carries on through the recording instead of the more upbeat and catchier energetic “Mi Sangre (The Blood Song)”. All of this kicks in with the song “Monster”, which is also catchy, but just feels a little more angry and commanding, incorporating a stronger focus on two-step Punk influenced bridges with that old-school Thrash attitude and sound.

Though “Mi Sangre (The Blood Song” doesn’t necessarily set the album up as well as it could, it gets the listener interested and ready to tackle through the fifty three plus minute album. It also let’s you know this is going to be a top-of-the-line modern sounding album with it’s cleaner audio quality. The vocals sound razor sharp at times with great amounts of energy and a rhaspier performance hidden when the music doesn’t call for the higher screaming approach that litters various moments of the song. The guitars sound as sharp thanks to the distortion, and the bass adds a very uncompromising feel to the music with pounding drums that carry the energy and intensity of the songs well, even those that don’t focus on it such as “Mi Sangre (The Blood Song)”. These are the songs that really stand out on the album, which is why “Death is an Illusion” is so great. The song takes on more of a melodic approach and a bit of the overall intensity from the more attitude-driven Thrash sound is lost, but it’s still strong with this track and becomes a very memorable song that feels passionate and will have listeners singing along to the track, especially the addicting chorus.

Perhaps the oddest track to the album, however, is the song “Ain’t Giving In”. This song takes a bit of a departure from Thrash all together, and comes off more an a Hard Rock influenced Iced Earth song around the time of The Glorious Burden. The similarities are pretty obvious, and it even seems like Tim “Ripper” Owens is handling all the slower parts, though I can’t find any proof with the promo received that it’s actually him. While it breaks up the consistancy and clearly sounds like a rip off of that established band, the song itself is enjoyable and seems to take more from the Rock from the time of the band’s formation, which is probably why this track exists on here moreso considering other bands like Annihilator have dabbled with material similar to this in their career. But that’s really the only track that feels out of place. The majority of My Blood is driven either by attitude or energy, or even both. Songs like “Dark Days” and “Death is an Illusion” are great tracks that feel commanding yet are catchy. “Warrior Blood” feels more like an anthem in Thrash form, and “Thrasher” is just an intense song from start to finish. The material on this album can easily be described as a cross between Anthrax and Testament, but Artillery definitely have their own unique approach to this style, and it pays out well with good, solid Thrash cuts that will grab the listener the moment it all starts.

Artillery clearly put a lot of effort into this album, and at times you can feel a great amount of passion in and towards the music as well. My Blood may not be the most outstanding or unique Thrash album available today, but it’s a solid effort with some catchy material that bridges the gap between old-school and modern days. With only a few tracks on here that don’t quite live up to songs like “Mi Sangre (The Blood Song)”: and “Death is an Illusion”, and “Ain’t Giving In” coming off really out of place for this album, there’s really no reason to avoid My Blood. A fantastic production, catchy and aggressive music, all coupled with that Thrash attitude that seems to be lost in today’s approach to the metal makes this a revitalizing effort well worth sitting through on more then one occassion.

01. Mi Sangre (The Blood Song) – 7:33
02. Monster – 4:57
03. Dark Days – 5:13
04. Death is an Illusion – 5:16
05. Ain’t Giving In – 4:55
06. Prelude to Madness [Instrumental] – 1:07
07. Thrasher – 3:38
08. Warrior Blood – 5:11
09. Concealed in the Dark – 4:59
10. End of Eternity – 5:44
11. The Great – 5:00
Overall Score: 8/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by Metal Mind Records.