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Artillery > Shellshock > Reviews > AxlFuckingRose
Artillery - Shellshock

Artillery's Early Form - 89%

AxlFuckingRose, December 19th, 2021

Before Artillery was a melodic thrash outfit with conceptual promise behind their albums, their sound had quite a bit of edge to it on their early demos before their Fear of Tomorrow album. A more sprawling version of "Time Has Come" is present, but the majority of the material here is unique to this demo.

Of course, the production is demo quality, but it isn't completely inaudible and in some instances surpasses the expectations of a 1984 thrash demo. The drumming is pretty cleared although the guitar tone sounds scratchy, it's not impossible to hear what notes are being played. The opening "Time Has Come" eclipses six minutes, but the band runs through a number of different riff changes that keep the sound exciting and vigorous. Vocalist Carsten Lohmann sounds like a madman on this demo with some manic screams that contrast the cymbal crashes very nicely.

The drumming reaches further levels of intrigue on "All for You," a track that could possibly border on Venom/Bathory territory for the time it was released. The guitars chug but the drumming is what makes this track, along with the dissident, cold vocal delivery. As the band speeds up in the middle of the song and the riff gets dicier, the band only sounds better.

The B-side of this demo is a little bit more energetic but is certainly not a dip in quality. These two songs are a touch more guitar-driven and lets the drumming take a backseat, although the vocal performance is just as strong and the drumming is still incredible. While the recording quality isn't anything impressive, and there may be some weird songwriting choices, the overall product that Artillery puts together here is nothing to scoff at. The band has loads of good ideas and even for a demo, they sound like they'll translating these ideas into quality songs at a high clip. The screams of "Bitch" cry fierce and the growly vocals sound like Motörhead, and "Blessed Are the Strong" is another cut that sounds well-written and incorporates some melody into its composition. For 1984, this is an extremely dynamic and far-reaching demo, something that shouldn't be overlooked in the development of thrash metal overseas. Artillery was there at its inception.