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It took me a few years to track down Bolt Thrower's long out-of-print Spearhead ep, but the resulting music was worth the wait. This ep is basically all about the two b-side leftovers from the IVth Crusade sessions: "Crown Of Life" & "Lament".
Both tracks deliver exactly what you'd expect from Bolt Thrower: heaving vocals, caustic riffage, chugging mid-tempo double bass beats, and the occasional swing tempo breakdown. Pretty much perfect by any acceptable standard of what makes for great Bolt Thrower.
"Dying Creed" re-appears from the original recording session and is thus wasted in its appearance (great song though). As well, the extended version of "Spearhead" drags a bit with the additional two minutes of music not really doing favors to a song I already thought was overlong. Still better to have a different version here than the album one.
Overall, this little ep was worth the effort I put into tracking it and anyone who digs Bolt Thrower, particularly IVth Crusade-era, needs to hear these two b-sides.
The funny thing is, when I bought this record I spent the first month of listening playing it at 33rpm instead of the intended 45rpm...that might well say something about Bolt Thrower...
I get the impression from this, various downloads and feedback from others that Bolt Thrower is a band who are not ones to deviate much between releases. Something I can image would get quite aggrevating from album to album, but on a four-track EP one's patience does not get stretched too badly. It's pretty dirty, raw heavy metal. Spearhead begins with a looping drum beat and quickly draws into a sea of guitar distortion...it's almost like stoner music for the mentally unstable. The songs are all based around this formula with little variation between them, and only one short guitar solo to go round the lot. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but it'll be reliable material for people who dislike subtltey.