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Beyond Awesome - 95%

altarofdeathben, November 2nd, 2009

Bolt Thrower is one of the biggest names in death metal, and there’s only one to describe them. Heavy. This superb band from Coventry combines growling vocals with their unique style of guitar playing to great effect, making them one of the most recognizable bands in the business.

In 1988 Bolt Thrower released the album “In Battle There Is No Law”. This album is an absolute classic, a must have for any death metal fan. Karl Willets vocals come together with Gavin Ward and Baz Tompson’s guitar to make a superb album, a classic of the genre. “In Battle There Is No Law” really is something special.

In 1989 when Bolt Thrower released their second full-length album “Realm of Chaos” they had a hard job of making this album live up to its expectations as many expected it to exceed its predecessor. They not only succeeded, they made a fantastic job of it. “Realm of Chaos” is a fantastic album and incredibly heavy, containing fantastic metal classics such as: “Eternal War”, (which uses a slow heavy introduction and a fast pounding middle and end) “World Eater” (which has a long low guitar solo at the start and fast high solos towards the end) and Through the Eye of Terror.

One thing that can be said about Bolt Thrower is that they are predictable. They rarely change their style- and it works. This is one of the only bands that this can be said for- in a lot of others the same style in each album can be become boring- this is not the case with Bolt Thrower. The biggest change in their style was the jump between “In Battle There is No Law” and “Realm of Chaos”. There was less of the punk influence in “Realm of Chaos, it contained more of the heavy grindcore influenced riffs and solos.

Bolt Throwers line up is that of a typical death metal- drum, guitars, bass and vocals. However the album opener “Intro” contains no instrumentation, only sound effects and Karl Willets’s growling vocals. This is the perfect opening track to this album, it adds to the atmosphere of the whole world at war theme of the album and sound incredibly effective.

The aforementioned World Eater is the first death metal track I ever heard and is a clear standout on the album. It clearly illustrates that fact that a song does not have to be fast to be brutal. The start of the song is effects similar to the opening track of the album, with Karl Willets growling the song title. A long, slow and heavy introduction then starts that lasts for around two minutes. This is an incredibly well written song and is a classic of the death metal genre.

Bolt Thrower use typical death metal growling vocals in all their music. This, when coupled with Karl Willets lyrics based on the bands common lyrical themes of war and violence create an awesome effect that no other death metal bands has been able to reproduce as well as Bolt Thrower.

Overall this album is a brutal, heavy metal classic. It contains fast elements; slow elements, fantastic lyrics and guitar riffs- Bolt Thrower excelled themselves with this album. It is a personal favourite of mine, and the first death metal album I purchased it- I recommend it on the highest possible terms to any death metal fan.