Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Solid old-school Death Metal - 73%

lonerider, February 18th, 2005

Hmm, hard to believe I’m the first one to write a review for this album. The title track was one of the first Death Metal songs I really got into. It must have been some time in the mid nineties that the respective video was played quite frequently on Headbanger’s Ball (whatever happened to Vanessa Warwick?!), and that awesome melodic guitar passage which is repeated throughout the song got me hooked in an instance. Before that I never really got into Death Metal because the “singing” completely turned me off. However, the sheer brutal force of this song made me change my mind. This is definitely one the greatest Death Metal tracks of all time, both with regard to the music and to the lyrics, which are quite intelligent and memorable (“Vanquished in the name of your god – one of the same to whom we once prayed…”).

As for the remainder of the album, there really isn’t anything negative to say. Bolt Thrower are very competent musicians, that’s for sure. Pounding drums and double bass, a massive wall of guitars, and a good vocalist in the mighty Karl Willets. The only downside to the otherwise adequate production is that the bass guitar isn’t very audible, so don’t expect any great pumping bass lines in the vein of a Steve Harris.

The music on here is mainly mid-paced, old-school Death Metal, which is exactly what this band is known for. However, they also throw in the occasional fast passage, something they have almost completely abandoned nowadays. Still, variation is a big problem with this record: while you really can’t say anything negative about the individual songs, it is also quite hard to discuss them one by one, because they all tend to just run together in a way, i.e. they are not very distinguishable. Apart from some melodic lead passages, the songs sound very much the same, and that made me lose interest in the album relatively quickly. I still listen to it from time to time, but I really think this one could have been so much better had the guys opted for a little more variety!

Anyway, the above remarks aren’t meant to indicate that this is a bad record in any way, it’s just that the songs are completely overshadowed by the massive opener. If you like your Death Metal heavy, brutal, and predictable, however, you really should get this. It’s not a classic (apart from the title track), but it’s still a very solid album with no crappy songs on it.

Choicest cuts: The title track stands unrivalled, although the album picks up again towards the end (“Spearhead”, “Celestial Sanctuary”, and “Dying Creed”). I should also note that “Through the Ages” is one of the few long outros that are really worth listening to.