Bolt Thrower - _Mercenary_
(Metal Blade / Attic, 1998)
by: Adrian Bromley (
Having been big a fan of the band's earlier years (i.e, _Realm of Chaos_ and _War Master_ LPs), I was eagerly awaiting this release, hoping that somehow or some way the band would manage to shift into gear and put a strong LP, something the band hadn't done in some time (since 1994's great _... For Victory_). Did they do it? The answer is yes and no. While the latest LP by England's Bolt Thrower is somewhat "safe sounding", meaning the band didn't really venture out too much in the material, the band still manages to concoct some killer riffs and intense playing scattered throughout the LP. Most notable numbers include opener "Zeroed" and the heavy-laden "Return From Chaos". While I am giving this a mediocre rating by Bolt Thrower standards, it's good to see this band back in the spotlight after a long three year gap. Karl Willetts' vocals sound pretty strong here, coating the material with angst and anger and allowing it to enhance into a full-armored machine when needed be. Some good stuff here. So, Bolt Thrower has returned, my friends; grab some ale and mead and make a toast and enjoy the heavy assault.
(article published 1/10/1998)
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