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Arrghhh - another classic!!! - 95%

dismember_marcin, March 13th, 2010

I have to say that as a Pole I feel absolutely honoured that this wonderful band dedicated their newest MLP to the Polish heroes that fought for Warsaw and Poland in August / September 1944. This is very tragic and terrifying but amazing event in the history of my country, so it's great that also people from abroad see its importance and dedicate their music to it.

Just imagine people - hardly any of them were soldiers - who fought with the Germans to get back their land, freedom and humanity, without much guns and equipment, without much hope... It is unthinkable! They were abandoned by the Allies (although the British pilots tried to drop them some ammunition and food, but most of that landed on the German side). Also the Stalin troops (who were waiting just on the other side of the river!) didn't help at all, so it was said that the Warsaw Rising will last for a week or few days and fail. Meanwhile these amazing people crawled in the canals and fought in the ruins of their beloved city for over two months. The German troops were ordered by Himmler and Hitler to kill everybody they'll see and burn the city to the ground as an example. An example for such "useless resistance". They executed thousands of men, women and children... In the first days of the August especially they showed an inhuman behaviour and unmercifully killed Warsaw citizens, even if many of them didn't take any part in the fights and were just hiding in the basements. The order of Himmler was simple - kill everyone. Corpses were burning on the stakes for days. Women were holding their children and Germans were shooting these innocent people in the back of their heads! Only few days later one of the German generals decided to give a different order and against the Himmler's will he ordered not to shoot the innocent citizens but put them (what a mercy!) into the trains and send to Germany so they can work for the Third Reich. All these murderers, like gruppenfuhrer SS Heinz Reienfarth and SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski never were sentenced for their participation in the killing of Warsaw citizens. And lived freely for many years in West Germany.

So, the main concept of "Warsaw Rising" - just like on the debut album - is all about the IIWW and I am not surprised that HAIL OF BULLETS used it, because it is amazing story. Myself I am very interested in history, so I can only be happy about that. Musically "Warsaw Rising" is of course a wonderful old schooled death metal. The first two tracks are very typical for HAIL OF BULLETS... great, mid paced riffage, very brutal and heavy, but catchy and totally into head banging... these two tracks crawl slowly ready to crush the listener. It is amazing how easily these old folks managed to find the energy and aggression to compose such brilliant death metal songs. Hmm, I guess such things you have in blood and you never forget them! And Martin van Drunen again proves to be my favourite death metal singer and his raspy growlings are timeless!!! I loved it since the early 90's and ASPHYX and PESTILENCE recordings and his come back to the scene was more than welcome. With time passing by his voice didn't lose anything and so I hope he's gonna record another hundred killer records!

But these two tracks are not everything that you can find on side A. There's also a cover of TWISTED SISTER and surprisingly it sounds also great as it is much heavier and riff-oriented as I expected, especially with the great chorus ("Destroyer"!!!!!!!). Side B of the "Warsaw Rising" MLP brings three live tracks recorded at the Party Sun Open air. The sound quality is very good and gives the justice to these great songs. It must have been killer performance, probably as great as ASPHYX's gig on that same Open Air, which was released as DVD. A shame we've got just three tracks, as I would love to hear / see all set.

All together these six tracks make a brilliant miniLP. I loved it and hold it as another jewel in my collection. I can only recommend it to everybody else, but especially those, who're into these Dutch death metal bands since the early days. These guys just don't get older!

A nice little treat for fans - 79%

LordOfTerror, October 21st, 2009

Hail of Bullets made their debut last year with the monstrous Of Frost and War. If you couldn’t get enough of their old school death metal assault, you should seriously consider picking up this EP. It contains a variety of material: a couple new original songs, a Twisted Sister cover, and a few live tracks.

Let’s start with the originals, Warsaw Rising and Liberators. Both of these could have easily come off of Of Frost and War, and they would have easily been highlights of that album had they been included. They include all the elements that make Hail of Bullets great: killer riffs, vicious vocals, and an energetic, passionate performance. The band has stuck to the lyrical theme of World War II in Eastern Europe, with primitive, to-the-point lyrics that reflect the barbaric nature of that era of history.

The Twisted Sister cover, Destroyer, is the weak point of this release. Hail of Bullets plays this song well, but even if you polish a turd, it’s still a turd. If you’re a Twisted Sister fan you’d probably enjoy this, but if you don’t care for their music, you can skip this track.

The final part of the EP contains live recordings of three of the best songs after the debut, and proves that the band is just as energetic in a live setting as they are on album – maybe even more so! These guys should record a full length live album!

If you’re not a Hail of Bullets fan, this EP won’t change your mind, but if you love this band as much as I do, then this release is definitely worth your time! Hopefully these guys do another full-length soon, but this EP should hold fans over in the meantime.

Bone. fans. go fetch. - 75%

autothrall, September 3rd, 2009

Hot on the heels of their excellent debut album last year, Dutch death blitzkrieg Hail of Bullets return with a teaser EP. Anyone enjoyed the grounded hybrid of Pestilence and Bolt Thrower that was '...Of Frost and War' should rest assured that no changes have been made, the band is still pure death war metal with World War lyrical themes.

The EP begins with what we've really been anticipating, two new tracks. "Warsaw Rising" and "Liberators" both crush, simple and primal, often familiar grinders dripping in Van Drunen's superbly sick and hostile vocals. Both would have fit well on '...Of Frost and War'. The band has also seen fit to include an interesting choice of cover song, Twisted Sister's "Destroyer". While the song isn't all that to begin with, it has been transformed to fit into the Hail of Bullets canon, and you may enjoy this version even if you couldn't care less about the original. The final three tracks are live cuts recorded at the Party San Open Air in Germany. "Red Wolfs of Stalin", "Nachthexen" and "The Crucial Offensive" sound solid enough in their live setting.

'Warsaw Rising' is pretty much a bone being thrown out to fans. If you truly enjoyed their debut, then this is probably worth your money and time. I'm not always high on the EP format (except for demos), but I did enjoy the new tracks, and it seems the band will be staying their course for future material.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com