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Return to form! Let the battle now commence - 96%

morbert, June 13th, 2007

Karl Willets is back. This of course has great sentimental value but let’s be honest, Dave Ingram did a great job as well. I am not sure if the presence of Wwillets gave the group some new energy, but they sure as hell reinvented themselves on ‘Those Once Loyal’

To put it short, this is their best effort since ‘For Victory’. The energy is back. So are the dynamics and incidental up tempo parts. Apart from continuing the earlier ‘For Victory’ blend, there are also some new elements in their music here. Most notable is Jo Bench’s bass guitar. At times she does more than just play the same lines as rhythm guitar and her bass has a superb production, being both filthy as well as having very clear definition. This gives the songs an extra edge. Do listen to her lines on ‘Entrenched’ and you’ll know what I mean! The over all clear sound makes this even more obvious. I could even state this is the best production a Bolt Thrower album has ever had.

The album is packed with dynamic death metal that includes most facets and styles Bolt Thrower have been about. The energetic shredder ‘At First Light’ is a highlight at once. ‘Entrenched’ has interesting refreshing riffs and ditto bass lines and has become and instant Bolt Thrower classic. Also worth mentioning are the doomy melodic title track ‘Those Once Loyal’ and the very groovy ‘Anti-Tank (Dead Armour)’.

Even though their previous two albums were fairly good and entertaining, ‘Those Once Loyal’ managed to simply outclass them. It became a definite highlight in Bolt Throwers discography.