Artillery - When Death Comes
Metal Mind Records
Thrash Metal
10 songs (53:14)
Release year: 2009
Metal Mind Records
Reviewed by Thomas

This is Artillery’s second studio release in roughly 20 years, and their first one without stand-out front-man Flemming Rönsdorf who never reunited with the band after their first comeback album B.A.C.K . Søren Adamsen (Crystal Eyes) took over vocal duties, and after being active for the last two years, Artillery is once again back to crush the bones of the unsuspecting masses. But first a little history: Artillery was along with Sodom maybe the earliest band to help shape the enormous European and mostly German thrash metal scene that would explode a couple of years later. In the suburbs of the Danish capital Copenhagen, sat two brothers and three companions of theirs a chilly and dark winter-night and made their plans to invade Europe with the violent metal of theirs. Eight years and three great albums later, the band halted, and didn’t release anything in particular until 1999’s aforementioned B.A.C.K. It seems like the old bands are teaming up again one by one to fight of the modern thrash-revival that we found cute for two bands or so, and show the young guns how it should be done. Artillery does by no means fail to set the standard.

The first thing that came to mind when listening to the opening guitar chops of When Death Comes was Kreator’s brilliant Hordes of Chaos that was released earlier this year. Fierce and violent riffing brings forth the banner of war and devastation, while new vocalist Søren Adamsen does a more than acceptable job as he commands his forces to battle with vicious war-cries. His voice is powerful; he’s got a good range and does an overall incredibly solid job on trying to fill Rönsdorf’s major shoes. Even though he does not have that distinctive stamp that Rönsdorf had, and tends to drift a little into power metal territory once in a while, the other guys have done an excellent job on finding a new singer, as Adamsen finishes the job with excellence.

The songs here are very riff-centric and often mid-paced, however, the Stützer-brothers are never letting up the huge amount of pressure they put on you. Their riffs are crushingly heavy; the details are distinct and easy to catch, and the guitar/drums-teamwork is strikingly precise. Most of you may appreciate a face-shredding solo or two as well, but the truth is that you won’t get very many of them. The leads are there, but as I mentioned, this is a riff-based record and the guitar-solos doesn’t do that much for me to be honest (Not that it really matters!). The melodic guitar-breaks like the one towards the end of the magnificent Rise Above it All way more appreciated and much more important for the dynamics of the songs and the record as a whole. Anyway, after the stomping Sandbox Philosophy, the personal highlight Delusions of Grandeur takes a softer approach with a nice acoustic intro that for some reason reminds me of In Flames. However, after a couple of minutes, this one blasts into another explosion of riffs and maybe the most melodic and mighty choruses on the entire CD.

All in all, this is a complete riff-fest that every single thrash fan should get into. This is a more than worthy comeback from these professional Danish thrashers even without the thing that made them stand out back in the early days. Not until the end does the album tend to slack off a bit with the rather boring Damned Religion. Still, this is the only real down-point among nine other songs, so it’s really nothing to complain about. The shape-shifting timely placed The End finishes off a brilliant album, that doesn’t come in far behind Kreator’s thrash album of the year.

Killing Songs :
When Death Comes, Upon My Cross I Crawl, 10,000 Devils, Rise Above it All, Delusions of Grandeur, Not a Nightmare, The End
Thomas quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Artillery that we have reviewed:
Artillery - Penalty by Perception reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Artillery - By Inheritance reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Artillery - My Blood reviewed by Thomas and quoted 70 / 100
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