Such groups make the listener very fortunate. I explain in the most simple way I can: Hail Of Bullets came to us all in a time where everyone tries to sound as plastic as possible, without personal identity, without passion for music, without experience and above all, without honesty. Things are very simple with the Dutch band from Utrecht. They didn’t form to teach the rest how to play. They don’t care about trends in music. They don’t give a flying fuck about sounding modern and in general, their creation was made because they simply wanted to deliver some old school death metal played from the heart, in the veins of bands like Death, Autopsy, Celtic Frost, even Bolt Thrower. This is their second album, follow-up to the godly debut ”Of Frost And War” which managed to bring an old air of an era forgotten but still glorious to the older fans in age.

”On Divine Winds” continues from where the debut album and next EP ”Warsaw Rising” left us. Mainly mid tempo tunes, with some outbursts here and there, but without any blastbeats or cheesy production. When they decide to play faster, like they do on tracks such as ”Guadalcanal” (the shortest in duration) or ”Kamikaze” (which has given the title on the album, as it means God’s Wind in Japanese), they do it with an old thrashing aura, making the result even more suitable to what they want to represent. This time the album focuses lyrically on the battles between the American and Japanese army in the Pacific Ocean, the debut album was all about the eastern front in Germany at World War 2. I can surely tell that the band manages to put us into the climate of that dark times with the best possible way.

”Operation Z” that opens the story, gets you right into the point from the very beginning. Martin Van Drunen sounds like a constant firing rifle that annihilates innocent soldiers driven to the war against their will. It is simply amazing how the years pass by and he still remains in perfect shape, like we are still back in 1990. The older he gets, the better he expresses the fighting tactics between two armies that massacred each other and changed the course of the world history as we know it today. The whole concept gets more attractive as the tunes change, and especially some mid tempo parts like ”Strategy Of Attrition” or the ending of the album with ”To Bear The Unbearable” make your heart bleed and grow a nostalgic feeling inside it. The production of drummer Ed Warby helps a lot, as it pours a grey color during the listening. Add the fact that mighty Dan Swano did the mix and you have what you’ve been asking for.

The guitars of the partners in Thanatos (another glorious Dutch band) Paul Baayens and Stephan Gebedi accompany the bullets that Van Drunen and Warby unleash. Sometimes bowel-ripping, other times sounding like a funeral march and in little parts as mentioned above, following fast tempos. The album is for sure full of great moments, ”On Coral Shores” is definitely one of the most characteristic tracks inside this release, ”Tokyo Napalm Holocaust” could become one of your most favourites, while the crawling lead on ”Kamikaze” will make you cry from joy. Some parts remind of Dismember and Entombed on their slow tempos, while there’s certainly the aura of Chuck Schuldiner somewhere in the back of the minds of the charismatic quintet. And of course some Bolt Thrower feeling, as we deal with war, battles and slaughter.

Hail Of Bullets are going to be established as one of the hottest acts in metal with this album. I feel pretty sure about this, as they work very hard and in very short time they already have three releases. A proof that they face this as an opportunity to achieve something important, becoming one of the bands that will constantly deliver material full of quality and fans can rely on. Though I personally prefer the debut album and the EP, this new album sounds more mature and contains more personal ideas. Much higher than an average release, we couldn’t expect anything less than high class experienced death metal veterans. The future seems bright for them, though they deal with dark matters. Metal Blade has an ace on their status, if they bet on it, the game will be won easily. Banzai!

Track List Line Up
01. The Eve Of Battle
02. Operation Z
03. The Mukden Incident
04. Strategy of Attrition
05. Full Scale War
06. Guadalcanal
07. On Coral Shores
08. Unsung Heroes
09. Tokyo Napalm Holocaust
10. Kamikaze
11. To Bear the Unbearable
Martin Van Drunen – Vocals
Paul Baayens – Guitar
Stephan Gebedi – Guitar
Theo Van Eekelen – Bass
Ed Warby – Drums

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