The Danish thrash metal veterans are back with their new album, the eighth of their career. ARTILLERY, was originally formed in 1982, but they disbanded in 1991. They reformed briefly in 1999, releasing “B.A.C.K.” only to break up again shortly after. After their second reunion back in 2007, the band has offered us strong and heavy releases and “Penalty By Perception” is no exception. In fact, I can say that this year’s album, is even heavier and more diverse than 2013’s “Legions”.
For yet another time, the founders of the band Morten and Michael Stützer, draw our attention with their magnificent guitar work, featuring fiery and anthemic riffs as well as technical, swift and catchy leads and solos. Right beside them, their longtime friend Peter Thorslund on bass guitar, along with the very skillful drummer Josua Madsen, offer a tight and bombastic rhythm section. Throughout the album, we can find bits here and there that will make us think of ONSLAUGHT and HEATHEN together with the band’s traditional US thrash style. On top of all this, Michael Bastholm Dahl adds a heavy/power metal tone on the vocal section, sounding a lot like Niklas Isfeldt of DREAM EVIL.
The most interesting moments can be heard on the “Deity Machine”, the upbeat “Cosmic Brain”, the last track “Welcome to the Mind Factory” and “Mercy of Ignorance” the riff of which is by far the album’s best. On the other hand, the album doesn’t come without its flaws. It doesn’t have a standout hit, a song that will stick to your mind after you finish listening to it. Also, the listener might get a little tired by the long track listing. I thought if the album was one or two songs shorter, things would be better.
Following its recent predecessors, the album features a more modern thrash metal approach, so all of you that expected a new “Fear Of Tomorrow” will have to wait for a backslide (which is highly unlikely), or make peace with the fact that the band has evolved. “Penalty By Perception”, is a decent and solid release, totally worth of bearing the band’s name.
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