Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

Energetic, frenzied and honest - 80%

Myrkrarfar, April 29th, 2017

To be able to fully comprehend the music at hand, and thus perform well with the review, I had to pump myself full with beer. Even though it’s Thursday night and work is due 8 AM tomorrow. Everything for you guys. (Okay okay, I drank two beers.)

Bullet is a bona fide retro-hard rock band hailing from Sweden. Everything on “Highway Pirates”, the band’s third full-length, reeks of late 70’s/early 80’s party hard rock, AC/DC style. Many have, understandably, mistaken Bullet for their Australian brethren throughout the years, and had the boys from Down Under still kept on releasing quality material, Bullet would’ve been if not redundant, then close to it. But as it is – we’re getting authentic, energetic, frenzied and honest fucking quality hard rock in the same vein. Someone has to carry the torch, the show must go on etc. You know the deal.

Sweaty guitar riffs with lots of chordal work are Bullet’s backbone, the crunchy guitar sound with clear definition between strings making the multi-stringed approach favorable. Rocking bass lines and steady drum beats lay the rhythmic foundation, with lots and lots of chord changes and accents on syncopes. All for the groove of things. The production is superb for this kind of rock n’ boner, edgy and feisty and with a wholeness to the sound, despite the tangible separation between the instruments. Studio wiz Tobias Lindell clearly knows his stuff.

Of course, I have to mention the, very possibly, most crucial ingredient in a classic hard rock band – the vocalist. Dag Hell Hofer surely is a unique force of nature; his high raspy howls take a little time getting used to, but when the familiarization process is over, you can start enjoying them for what they are – enthusiastic bursts of raw energy, reminiscent of both Brian Johnson and Rob Halford. Compared quality-wise even with such iconic voices, Hofer has nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, without those two gentlemen, we wouldn’t have Mr. Hofer, but that’s the way it goes, being in a retro band.

What sets Bullet apart from most retro bands (I’ll stop overusing that term right now), like for example Airbourne, is the quality of their songwriting. Most songs have choruses and riffs that latch onto your cerebral cortex faster than you can say “Sigourney Weaver is hot in Alien 3 despite the lack of hair”. Most riffs have also been polished with subtle technical details that make them stand out the more, so we’re spared from the mundane power-chord-this-and-power-chord-that mindset. I really dig the guitarists’ tasteful soloing as well, especially the harmonies on “Down and Out” and the solo on closer “Into the Night” got my crotch moving. On a side note, “Down and Out” qualifies, along with “Fire and Dynamite”, as my favorites off of “Highway Pirates”, so consider those slices recommended.

Even though these guys surely should be experienced live rather than on record, this album is so immediate that you can get into an almost-live feel just by rocking it in your living room. If you’re searching for a hard rock album that sets you in the mood for partying and having a rock n’ roll blast, grab “Highway Pirates” – you won’t be disappointed!


Thorgrim666, May 23rd, 2011

While I was spending some time in London in February 2007, two albums caught my attention because of their covers, titles, and the names of the bands: Bullet's "Heading for the Top" and Airbourne's "Runnin' Wild". However, after checking them out, I decided to purchase only the Bullet album. While both are influenced by AC/DC, these Swedish guys offer the amount of balls that, in my opinion, both Aussies lack. Here I am, four years later, reviewing an album where nothing has really changed. On their third album, Bullet again crush us with their unrelenting mix of traditional heavy metal and hard rock, owing as much to AC/DC as to the Teutonic steel of Accept. If you spice it with a good amount of NWOBHM and a lot of dirty garage attitude, you'll guess exactly how these guys sound. We have easy sing-along choruses, nice melodic solos, and rocking riffing in songs lasting around 3 to 5 minutes. Standout tracks are quite difficult to point out, but I would choose some of the heaviest ones such as the opening title track (including the trademark whistle of Biff Byford), the very NWOBHM "Fire and Dynamite", "Heavy Metal Dynamite" (explosive guys, hehe) and the blasting "Into the Night". One more thing, I've read some reviews where they criticized the cover and the pictures. Let me tell you one thing, if someone does so, he doesn't know what this all about! Original, no way! Who cares?

(Issued in Ample Destruction 'zine #)