Artillery 1985
Danish thrash metal!

Fear of Tomorrow Artillery - Fear of Tomorrow (Axe Killer) 1985

1. "Time Has Come" (5:23)
2. "The Almighty" (4:17)
3. "Show Your Hate" (4:54)
4. "King Thy Name Is Slayer" (3:42)
5. "Out of the Sky" (3:49)
6. "Into the Universe" (3:48)
7. "The Eternal War" (5:28)
8. "Fear of Tomorrow" (3:27)
9. "Deeds of Darkness" (6:41)

"Fear of Tommorow" is Artillery's first album, after releasing a series of demos that were apparently pretty popular in the then thriving tape trading underground. Artillery were a more than competent thrash band. They wrote killer riffs and their guitar tones were heavily distorted much like their German thrash counerparts. However, the overall mix and recording is not great. Not really that big a deal though as it is the aggresssion and the riff work that makes this disc a great listen. Album opener "Time Has Come" is a perfect example of a great thrash song. It's fast and furious but changes several times. Check out the drop to half speed during the bridge on this track. In other words, the music is fast, but not always fast with plenty of variation and good breaks. ("Into the Universe" also has a really a choice break as well.)

For years this album was nearly impossible to find on CD, other than on the double album release with "Terror Squad". However that pressing ommited "King Thy Name Is Slayer" and the title track. Thankfully France's Axe Killer Records saw fit to press the album in it's entirety on CD.

Terror Squad Artillery - Terror Squad/Fear of Tomorrow (RC Records/Roadrunner) 1985/87

1. "The Challenge" (4:12)
2. "In the Trash" (4:47)
3. "Terror Squad" (5:50)
4. "Let There Be Sin" (3:52)
5. "Hunger and Greed" (5:05)
6. "Therapy" (4:06)
7. "At War with Science" (7:12)
8. "Decapitation of Deviants" (4:38)
9. "Time Has Come" (5:23)
10. "The Almighty" (4:17)
11. "Show Your Hate" (4:54)
12. "Out of the Sky" (3:49)
13. "Into the Universe" (3:48)
14. "The Eternal War" (5:28)
15. "Deeds of Darkness" (6:41)

This 1990 re-release is spectacular. "Terror Squad" has to be one of the finer speed metal/thrash discs I've heard. It's definitely Artillery's shining moment. I'm surprised the band didn't get more noetiety at the time. The band sports tons of mosh beats, great thrash riffs, plenty of speedy solos, and unique vocals that are an equal mix of growl and melody. It's also nice to have "Fear of Tomorrow" as a bonus. To bad two songs from "Fear of Tomorrow" were eliminated because of time constraints of the single disc.

This is one of those discs that I got into a bidding war over on eBay. The bidding got up to around $15 so I waited until the last two minutes and bid $17.50. In the last seconds the other guy beat me out and paid $18 plus a whopping $4 shipping. One week later another copy was posted with the bidding starting at $9. I bid $15, but nobody else ever bid on it so I ended up getting it for $9 plus $2 shipping.

By Inheritance Artillery - By Inheritance (Roadrunner) 1990

1. "7:00 From Tashkent" (:53)
2. "Khomaniac" (6:42)
3. "Beneath the City" (4:48)
4. "By Inheritance" (5:42)
5. "Bombfood" (5:42)
6. "Don't Believe" (4:40)
7. "Life in Bondage" (5:27)
8. "Equal At First" (4:25)
9. "Razamanaz" (3:!4)
10. "Back in the Trash" (6:02)

After getting the reunion disc "B.A.C.K." and being totally into the old school thrash sounds, I began searching for Artillery's older discs. I have seen them several times on eBay, but they always seem to sell for much more than I am willing to pay. Fortunately, Christmas seemed to be a slow time for obscure stuff like this, so I was able to pick up this one for $5 (plus shipping). Not a bad deal. The music is a little less aggressive than I expected, but overall, this is a good disc, albeit not quite as good as "B.A.C.K." "By Inheritance" is Artillery's third album, so the search continues. "Razamanaz" is a Nazareth cover.

Deadly Relics Artillery - Deadly Relics (Mighty Music) 1998

1. "Artilleristic Prelude MCMXCVIII" (:53)
2. "Khomaniac" (6:42)
3. "Don't Believe" (4:31)
4. "Out Of The Sky" (3:40)
5. "Fear Of Tomorrow" (3:43)
6. "Deeds Of Darkness" (6:56)
7. "Too Late To Regret" (3:59)
8. "Deserter" (5:36)
9. "Hey Woman" (3:51)
10. "Time Has Come" (6:08)
11. "All For You" (4:33)
12. "Bitch" (3:50)
13. "Blessed Are The Strong" (4:37)

"Deadly Relics" is a compilation of Artillery's many demos dating back to as early as 1984. There are four demos covered on this album, of Artillery's five total. Unfortunately the band's first demo titled, "We Are the Dead" (1982) is not represented at all. Tracks 1-3 are from the "1989 promo demo". Tracks 4-5 are from the 1985 demo (five more demo tracks do not appear here). Tracks 6-9 are from the 1984 "Shellshock Demo" demo. Tracks 10-13 are from the second 1984 demo, "Deeds of Darkness". The first five tracks are typical of what one would expect from Artillery, heavy thrash metal. The remainder of the CD, however, is quite different. Track six is much less of a thrash metal nature, but is still quite heavy. These songs seem to have a heavy Mercyful Fate influence complete with King Diamond-esque vocals. Having said that, however, the vocals on "Deeds of Darkness" and "Deserter" reminded me of Ulrich Roth of the Scorpions. As a matter of fact, the resemblance was uncanny at times. However, I would imagine that this was a coincidence rather than any kind of direct influence. I wonder what this band would have sounded like had they continued to explore this sound rather than moving into realms of thrash metal. It's interesting to hear the transition from the first '84 demo to the heavier second '84 demo. These last four tracks walk a fine line between traditional 80's heavy metal and thrash metal. Even the vocals are more aggressive on this demo. although those Uli-like vocals do peak through here and there as well, especially on the chorus to "Time Has Come." "Deadly Relics" is packaged in a digi-pack with a nicely laid out booklet featuring tons of rare photos of the band, demo covers, concert flyers, etc. as well as a complete discography of the band including demos. This disc is essential for Artillery fans.

B.A.C.K. Artillery - B.A.C.K. (Diehard Music Worldwide) 1999

1. "Cybermind" (4:01)
2. "How Do You Feel" (3:58)
3. "Out of the Trash" (3:58)
4. "Final Show" (5:26)
5. "WWW" (3:53)
6. "Violent Breed" (3:47)
7. "Theatrical Exposure" (3:56)
8. "B.A.C.K." (3:47)
9. "The Curse" (3:15)
10. "Paparazzi" (4:07)

A good friend of mine from Germany sent me this disc 'cause he knew I would love it. Well, my friend was right, I love this disc. Before hearing this I was unfamiliar with Artillery, so I began my daunting task of hunting down their back catalog. So, with that in mind, I love this CD. I have read over the years numerous lukewarm and downright negative review of "B.A.C.K." and frankly, I cannot understand why. Artillery play old school thrash metal, and they play it well. I'd put this one the same level with bands like Kreator, which is a high honor in my opinion. Vocalist Flemming Ronsdorf has a unique voice, although at times he reminds me of the vocalist from Cirith Ungol. The CD opens with a full-throttle thrash metal assault titled "Cybermind". Frankly, this song alone should convince any skeptic that Artillery are indeed back! The next track only slows things down slightly and sounds very much like classic Artillery, with an updated production. As well "Out of the Trash" holds ups the intensity level. This song features some smoking bass and guitar solos. Quite frankly, the intensity never really lets up throughout the album right through the album's last track "Paparazzi". Yes, the band does makes use of some mid-pace, groove elements here and there, but what thrash band doesn't? Bands like Kreator, Sodom and Slayer have sucessfully used grooves as well. So, besides being a great thrash album, "B.A.C.K." also succeeded at making me an Artillery fan. This is classic thrash metal. If you don't believe me, igrnore the reviews and listen for yourself. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

When Death Comes Artillery - When Death Comes (Metal Mind Productions) 2009

1.   When Death Comes (5:56)
2.   Upon My Cross I Crawl (5:28)
3.   10.000 Devils (5:22)
4.   Rise Above It All (5:32)
5.   Sandbox Philosophy (4:44)
6.   Delusions Of Grandeur (5:10)
7.   Not A Nightmare (5:30)
8.   Damned Religion  (5:10)
9.   Uniform (5:00)
10. The End (5:22)
11. Refuse To Live, Part 2 (4:07)
12. Warhead (4:53)

Artillery return after a lengthy absence, only this time without vocalist Flemming Rönsdorf. For better or for worse, Flemming’s unique vocals were one of the signatures of Artillery’s sound. I especially thought he was exceptional on the 1999 release “B.A.C.K.” However, that is not to say that “When Death Come” is automatically garbage. New vocalist Søren Nico Adamsen has a cleaner style than Flemming and his involvement with power metal band Crystal Eyes definitely bleeds through. As such, “When Death Comes” doesn’t come off as thrashy and takes on more of a speed metal and power metal sound. The title track has a feel similar to “B.A.C.K.”, but is infused with a lot of melody as well. “Upon My Cross I Crawl“, “10,000 Devils“ and “Rise Above it All“ have similar vibe of mixing together tight, crunchy thrash riffs and a sense of melody. With a slighty rawer production and harsher vocals “Upon My Cross” and “10,000 Devils” could have easily been tracks from the legendary “By Inheritance”. “Sandbox Philosophy”, with it’s galloping drums, takes on a more power metal approach. However, don’t think of the flowery European power metal bands, rather think of Meliah Rage, Metal Church and Vicious Rumors.

“ Delusions of Grandeur “ could almost be called a power metal ballad, though it’s not some cheesy 80’s radio ballad. The song does break up the album a bit and shows a bit more variety in the band’s songwriting. Even though I called the song a ballad, it’s actually pretty fast paced and builds up into a much heavier song mid-way through the song.

Overall, the riffs are complex yet accessible, the songs are heavy yet melodic and the vocals are aggressive yet mostly sung clean. When Death Comes is thick and heavy and slickly produced, yet not overly slick. The new vocal approach along with the highly polished production and the melodic nature of some of the songs makes “When Death Comes” fall somewhere between power metal and thrash. In times of old, I would have described them as speed metal. In modern times, genres are so mixed up that one label doesn’t do a band justice. “When Death Comes” is another excellent album in the Artillery catalog.

Artillery - My Blood (Metal Mind Productions) 2011

1.    Mi Sangre (The Blood Song) (7:33)
2.    Monster (4:57)
3.    Dark Days (5:12)
4.    Death is an Illusion (5:16)
5.    Ain't Giving In (4:55)
6.    Prelude to Madness [instrumental] (1:06)
7.    Thrasher (3:37)
8.    Warrior Blood (5:10)
9.    Concealed in the Dark (4:59)
10.  End of Eternity (5:43)
11.  The Great (5:04)
12.   Show Your Hate [2011 version] (5:04)
12.   Eternal War [2011 version] (5:21)

Artillery's sixth full-length recording, "My Blood" is yet another solid slab of heavy metal and thrash. "My Blood" follows in a similar style to their 2009 release "When Death Comes". The music is brilliantly produced and is bright, heavy and melodic thrash metal with a few power metal influences, clean guitar sequences and some slight experimentations.  "Mi Sangre (The Blood Song)" sees Artillery infusing their molten metal sound with a heaping-helping of middle-eastern mysticism. This sort of experimentation isn't really all the prevalent in the rest of the album though some of the middle-eastern flavor can also be heard in "End of Eternity". "Monster" features plenty of groove yet not the Pantera-ish sort of groove, but rather just good riffs and drums and bass all flowing together to create something that is both heavy, but melodic and memorable at the same time. It's probably my favorite song on the album. The semi-ballad "Ain’t Giving In" finds Artillery occupying a terrain not too far removed from power metal legends Metal Church. "Thrasher" is a song obviously written as a crowd pleaser. It's just a short, full-tilt thrash song with predictable lyrics that are rather cheesy, but are also quite fun. It's nice to see band's like Artillery writing songs like this just as a way to show that not every song has to have some deep meaning or some political slant.

Guitarist Morten and Michael Stützer still know how to shred with busy riffs and excellent guitar leads. They are, of course, the stars of this show. It's all about the crunchy guitars and those screaming solos, however, that is not to diminish the vocal performance of Søren Adamsen. "My Blood" offers yet another fine vocal performance from Søren, who had been introduced with "When Death Comes". Adamsen's siren-like howl giving the band an element of classic power metal. His roots certainly shine through on this recording. "My Blood" is another fantastic slab of molten metal from Artillery.

Added as bonus tracks are two nearly recorded versions of some crusty, only slightly rusty, Artillery oldies.

Penalty by Perceptin Artillery - Penalty By Perception (Metal Blade) 2016

1. In Defiance Of Conformity (5:45)
2. Live By The Scythe (5:03)
3. Penalty By Perception (4:58)
4. Mercy Of Ignorance (3:48)
5. Rites Of War (4:20)
6. Sin Of Innocence (5:14)
7. When The Magic Is Gone (4:32)
8. Cosmic Brain (4:34)
9. Deity Machine (4:55)
10. Path Of The Atheist (4:47)
11. Welcome To The Mindfactory (5:44)

"Perception" is the eighth full-length album by Danish thrash metal act Artillery. Unlike a large majority of the CDs I pick up these days, I grabbed this one in a local store, completely surprised to even see it on the shelf. I popped the CD into my car CD player and cranked it up. Within just a few minutes I began to wonder if this was the right CD I was listening to. This sounds more like modern power metal than the raw, gnarly thrash metal that I remember Artillery for. This stems partially from the smooth, clean vocals of Michael Bastholm Dahl. However, it's not just the vocals, the music also has that galloping, fast to mid-paced riffing that is the basis of power metal. I'm not sure why the music caught me off guard the way it did since this is exactly the same line-up that recorded "My Blood" in 2011. I suppose when I think of Artillery I think of Flemming Ronsdorf gravely voice and those fast, speedy licks and riffs.

Once I got past my initial surprise and around the pre-conceived notion of what this band should sound like I discovered a solid, completely enjoyable heavy metal album. In fact, Artillery could teach some of the new wave of traditional heavy metal bands a thing or two about writing memorable songs. This album is packed from beginning to the end with one killer track after the other. However, the momentum is stopped slightly by the unexpected acoustic ballad "When the Magic is Gone". Once again, it's only shocking because of my pre-conceived notion of what Artillery "should be". In reality the song fits on the album quite well as Dahl has the perfect voice for this song. Once this song is finished it's back to the business at hand, which of course is high-energy power metal.

I'd be willing to bet that many Artillery fans were taken back by this album when they first heard it, but frankly it's a good album even if it isn't the thrash metal we've all come to know and love from our favorite Danish thrashers.

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