|Review: Hail of Bullets - ...Of Frost and War|
|...Of Frost and War|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: May 2, 2008
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
for:...Of Frost and War
Rated 4.11/5 (82.22%) (18 Votes)
War and Death Metal have been well paired in the past, with Bolt Thrower being one of the leading examples of it done well. Leading by Bolt Thrower's example whilst adding in a few musical splashes of old Death and Autopsy, Hail of Bullets have taken Bolt Thrower's blueprint and sprayed it down with a thick layer of Swedish sounding Death Metal ectoplasm. But, that is not all folks. Y'see, these guys aren't exactly newcomers to the scene — for a start they feature the inhuman gravel coated howl of ex- Pestilence/Asphyx man Martin Van Drunen, as well as a plethora of musicians from such Dutch luminaries as Gorefest and Thanatos too.
The first thing that hits you about this album (well, once the pointless near 2 minute synth intro is out of the way anyway), is the guitar tone which strips nerve-endings at fifty paces. The production job just brings it further to the fore, with its overwhelming Swedish buzzsaw sound bolstered further by the rumbling bass work and the massively crushing drum sound leaving you in the throes of rapture after the first twenty seconds or so of "Ordered Eastward". With their war theme, Hail of Bullets try to actually transport you to the battlefield mid-skirmish so you can actually feel it - with the double bass pedals battering home machine gun rounds, guitars rending flesh like exploding shrapnel shells and Van Drunen's chilling bark lashing wildly at you like the screams of the dying and injured. Badass.
Whereas the likes of Marduk's 'Panzer Division Marduk' gave a Black Metal example of war's extremity via the equivalent of a non-stop 32 barreled Metal Storm machine gun firing on all cylinders, Hail of Bullets are the aural equivalent of a massive armor-plated tank, destroying everything in its path and leaving a trail of carnage and entrails in its wake. '...Of Frost and War' is a certifiably gunpowder charred, acrid smoke-billowing bitch of an album — don't miss it.
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