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Artillery’s B.A.C.K, but is it the same Artillery? - 68%

Corimngul, August 17th, 2005

Apparently there are no exceptions. Every band has members who do nothing but following their idolized gods. Sheep. The Colombian Darkness is the best example of this, but B.A.C.K. stinks from it too. Apparently Artillery watched their old heroes losing their grip, leaving the thrash scene for the favored groovecore and groove metal ditto. Apparently Artillery wanted to follow them, and did re-group in order to make one of the more longed-for comebacks in history, a comeback that should, hopefully, render Artillery a place in the ranks of the big guys.

Apparently there are few, if any successful comebacks. Most of them tend to be so-called meh:s. Artillery turned out to make a meh, if a fainter one than usual. Apparently Artillery didn't quite accomplish neither a thrash, nor a groove album. Instead Artillery opted for both and made a mess out of it. This was done by opening each song with a riff bound to make any thrashhead happy - or at least agree not to argue its existence. So far, so good, but then... what? They do switch between thrash and groove sections throughout the songs. It's done in a decent fashion, but it's a fatal blow towards the parts sounding like old Artillery. This switching is taken to its extremes on Final Show where we get a riff, which is suddenly removed when it's time for Flemming to sing a strophe. In between the verses they do riffing all right, and then there's a decent groove metal chorus. This just isn't satisfactory.

Apparently, this isn't the only place where Artillery disappointed with lyrics. They've tried "modern" effects everywhere. This is a problem with recent albums. Computerized mixing has made it far too easy for the band to use effects that should not be used. Take the hardcorish distortion of Theatrical Exposure, or the barely audible robotic voice on each and every song as examples. That "robotic" voice is nothing but a filter removing all but the lowest tones of Flemming voice, when admittedly he isn't that low-pitched. Apparently he has weakened too. He uses high-pitched screams - which, due to too much beer, aren't that high-pitched where there once used to be almost falsetto-ish growls.

Apparently Artillery erases their old trademarks. Take the two Stützer brothers (guitarists, one doubling on bass) as an example. At times their work is former Artillery, but in deed they're the outposts most affected by the modernisms. In a suffering way. Violent Breed has strophes preceded by a great riff, lined by great riffs. But then there's a scale followed by stupid Annihilator-ities. It doesn't work well. Agreed, it works better than when Annihilator does it but that is because of the actual thrash around it, not because of any groove metal of higher quality. Other stupid things are a slow part in Paparazzi without any point at all. It doesn't fit; it doesn't exist for more than nine seconds during which Artillery suck, after the song continues as it was before. Pointless.

Out of the Thrash is the latest, weakest, most inconsistent and outright worst song in the Trash-series. It reminds of the Artillery we used to know though. But... it’s a sad excuse. It is however not before one reaches the title track that one realizes that B.A.C.K. would have been made much more justice as a single. The album idea is totally unnecessary. The song B.A.C.K. is total Terror Squad-esque material.. Very consistent, almost too much. It does nothing but bringing thrash, spreading headbanging in its catchy, hard, heavy and thrashy Artillery-trademark way. It's classic and furious material with the best lyrics, vocals and drums on the entire record. And even then it doesn't reach the glorious heights of By Inheritance.

All in all B.A.C.K. is Artillery's worst album. As such it could be rather good, but it isn't exactly good. It's decent at best, something the drums aren't. Thrash drums just aren't done that way. They aren't.