Thursday, 11 August 2011

Hail of Bullets - ...Of Frost and War

Hail of Bullets - ...Of Frost and War (METAL BLADE - LP 2008)
If there’s anything I hate most when it comes to the music it is the waiting for the new album from one of my favourite bands. I am not patient, so sometimes I swear a lot if the band let us wait too long for their recordings. Luckily for me HAIL OF BULLETS carried on their bloody crusade in cold Eastern Front soon after the release of their mighty debut MLP. METAL BLADE has taken the band under their carrying wings and released this wonderfully looking digipack in 2008.
The booklet looks totally awesome and all those who’re into the history – World War II especially – will love it. Old photos taken from some archives – of the soldiers dying in the freezing Soviet winter, ruined cities, tanks – give an extra feeling. And the lyrics – based on the German / Soviet war and the most important events of it like the battle of Stalingrad and the fall of Berlin or about the so called Nachthexen (Russian women-only Bomber combat regiment) are absolutely fantastic. They’re very detailed, showing great knowledge and interest of its author and be awared you’ll lose much if you skip digging into them. What about the music then…
Shit, don’t even dare to think that it may be a weak album. No doubt HAIL OF BULLETS managed to put out one of the greatest materials in the recent years and only ASPHYX and BOLT THROWER (hopefully they’ll do new album soon, remember I’m very inpatient!) can rival it. Look at it as a concept album, starting with the sound of the engines of squadron of tanks (and finishing with “…the war is over / Germany cries…”)… These are the German troops heading towards the Soviet territory, ready to start the war with Stalin’s wolves. With every next track you’ll participate in this war and end up in Berlin, crushing the Nazi’s seed. The music is very old school based, composed by rather simple, mostly mid paced riffing, which is very groovy and totally heavy and aggressive, but which at the same time is damn catchy and invites to the maniacal headbanging. Occasionally you’ll hear more melodic parts (like in “The Crucial Offensive” or the wonderful melodic part in the middle of “Inferno at the Carpathian Mountains”, not to mention a solo in “Berlin”, which is a great anthem to those who died in a war), but mostly the songs are massively heavy and monumental, almost barbaric, like “General Winter” for example.
It is quite hard to pick up one single song as a favourite one, as most of the album is equally great, but surely “Ordered Eastward” and epic “Stalingrad” are those, which stuck in my mind more than anything else. And again I have to underline my great sympathy for Martin van Drunen. This man is just god for me, I’m serious. I know that there are many great growlers, like David Vincent, Mike van Mastrigt, Karl Willets, Matti Karki, LG Petrov or Jeff Walker. I love them all. But van Drunen was always my favourite guy. He participated in recording of “The Rack”, which is one of my top three of favourite LPs of all times! He did also “Consuming Impulse”, which isn’t far behind. His rough, crispy voice gives the music a special feeling and I think no one growls like him (although Wannes Gubbels is quite close).
So, with such a line up of well experienced and brilliant musicians “…Of Frost and War” just couldn’t fail. It must be a victory of old school death metal, an album, which is almost complete, as I can find anything I wouldn’t like in it. Perfect, fantastic and totally interesting, ticking all the boxes of what I like in this music. Classic. Give me more HAIL OF BULLETS!
Best tracks: “Ordered Eastward”, “Stalingrad”
Final score: 95 / 100

No comments:

Post a Comment