Ambush - Infidel
High Roller Records
Heavy Metal
10 songs (43'05")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

Ambush is a Swedish heavy metal band which have traditional metal at the core of their sound. As there are a myriad of bands in this meat & potatoes corner of metal, standing out is not the easiest thing to do. I have reviewed, and actually highlighted, Ambush previous album Desecrator, but can say that on Infidel the band has chosen to deliver their material in not so harsh manner, focusing more on excellent sound production. It feels that resources weren't spared to find a good studio. Thus, the fans will probably fracture between those who look for more authentic rougher DIY and those who prefer a more polished outcome. The latter group will certainly find a lot to like with Infidel, as the album is pretty strong overall, even if it didn't become my favorite classic metal album of 2020.

There are certainly some metallic driving tracks on Infidel, which could fit along the lines of almost any modern power metal (Iron Helm of War) or things that sound like Primal Fear (The Demon Within). Faster riffing is also often called upon (title track, Leave Them to Die), but things are always carefully measured with Ambush circa 2020, nothing is jumbled or breakneck, and almost regardless of any individual song's tempo Infidel unfolds at or just above midpace. This is more foot tapping enjoyable classic metal with focus on melody (Hellbiter) than maniac headbanging material or double bass paradise. In places (A Silent Killer) I could say that Infidel sounds like old Accept, but while riffing is indeed reminiscent of the Germans, in spirit Infidel feels almost glammy in spots (Lust for Blood, Heart of Stone), and that was somewhat of a turnoff. Using Accept or Judas Priest as your orienteers is certainly not a cause for criticism, but when Yperite and Lust for Blood sound more like Turbo Judas Priest, I am thinking Ambush may have looked at the wrong role model. The pulsating punching rhythms of Yperite and something that sounds like a harmonica in that song point to the era Judas Priest themselves may have thought was a questionable experiment.

Vocally Oskar Jacobsson is no Rob Halford. He has a high voice which is pretty solid when he soars above the carnage, or shrieks (title track), but I feel more is needed in the bottom register. His vocals remind me somewhat of late Jeff Fenholt (RIP), but Oskar is always buttressed by the whole of Ambush contributing gang vocals in sing along hooky choruses. Throughout the album, solos sound like guitar hero (Heart of Blood), twin together (title track), or scream and rip (The Demon Within). Bass sound quality is particularly rewarding on the album and makes up for the glam shortcomings I mentioned earlier.

If you thought I have been a little picky since I have been hearing albums in this genre for probably 35 years of my life, it is probably true, and Infidel deserves your attention.

Killing Songs :
Infidel, The Demon Within, Iron Helm of War
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Ambush that we have reviewed:
Ambush - Desecrator reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
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