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Bullet is on the front line of a growing movement in Metal, that is, younger bands (such as Bullet's countrymen, Wolf) playing a style of Metal more commonly associated with the early 80's and NWOBHM, in particular. Obviously, the untrained ear will call these guys an AC/DC ripoff, but given the actual composition of Bullet's tunes on this effort, my sneaking suspicion would be that these guys are much bigger fans of Accept than AC/DC. This definitely works in their favor on 'Bite the Bullet', and infuses the music with an unmistakable energy which probably would have been absent had they embraced the Aussie rockers, instead.
Riff-wise, this album is similar to something you might hear on Judas Priest's early-to-mid-80's output. The instrumental track about halfway through - 'City of Sins' - is a sort of spiritual successor to 'The Hellion / Electric Eye'. This album wasn't just thrown together, either. These riffs work well together, and the choruses have an infectious quality that is, of course, similar to the band's main inspirations, even if the guitarwork is nowhere near, say, Wolf Hoffmann's. Even so, the songwriting is unmistakably top-notch and the album flows very well from track to track. No ballads to be found, here, just solid 80's Metal with strong, catchy hooks. The early half is dominated by the album's title track as well as the first single, 'Dusk til Dawn'. The second half seems to leave the best for last, as 'The Rebels Return' is an absolute Heavy Metal anthem with a great mood and build-up.
The band also shows their appreciation for Accept's proto-Speed Metal on the song 'Rock Us Tonight', which wouldn't be at all out of place on, say, the Breaker or Restless & Wild albums. These guys may more often be compared to AC/DC, but that's really more due to the ignorance of people who have been more exposed to them than some of the NWOBHM that Bullet is clearly strongly influenced by. All in all, this album is a strong top-to-bottom effort, with very little filler and a consistently catchy songwriting approach. If you agree that modern Metal is weak, pick it up.
Best: Bite the Bullet, Roadking, The Rebels Return, Rock Us Tonight
Weakest: Rock n' Roll Remedy
Bite the Bullet is Bullet’s second album. They are a Swedish band playing hard rock/heavy metal, the kind most popular in the early ‘80s in the vein of bands such as AC/DC, early Judas Priest and Accept.
The frontman of Bullet, Dag Hell Hofer, sounds like a palatable hybrid between Bon Scott and Udo Dirkschneider. Unfortunately, not only has this voice been used in several bands before but it becomes rather tiresome after the novelty wears thin, long before the album reaches its end due to its one-dimensional nature. Additionally, the backing vocals could do with some enthusiasm. The guitar riffs sound identical to an AC/DC effort although the punchy riffing on ‘Roadkill’ redeems the song as a modernized approach which renders it a stand-out track on the album. The instrumental ‘City of Sins’ is reminiscent of Judas Priest’s ‘The Hellion’ and does not serve the band any favours.
The most unique moment of the album arises on ‘Rock N Roll Remedy’ where Hofer invites the listener (or an imaginary audience) to sing along, resulting in backing vocalists providing a sing-along over Hofer’s encouragement. This is a sure staple for the band’s live setlist as it was manufactured for a live audience, preferably of stadium size.
There is nothing remotely revolutionising on this album. In fact, most of it sounds as if it was lifted from any AC/DC album. Should the band want active attention, they will have to sieve their efforts into something more innovative and imaginative. If the listener is one who tires of hearing the same material over and over, this album should be avoided. For those who miss the hard rock dominated period of the ‘80s and want something modern yet nostalgic, Bite the Bullet is the remedy.
Originally written for www.soundshock.net