Bolt Thrower - _Honour, Valour, Pride_
(Metal Blade, 2001)
by: David Rocher (7 out of 10)
At a first listen, _Honour, Valour, Pride_ comforted me in my _Mercenary_-induced belief that Bolt Thrower's works in my shelves would forever stop at _...For Victory_. In fact, the first three tracks on the legendary growling British deathsters' seventh album totally failed to fuel any form of enthusiasm in me at the time, and still feel, many a listen later, rather subdued, predictable and dispensable. However, as track four, "Suspect Hostile" starts up, things take a turn for better -- love 'em or hate 'em, Bolt Thrower are still on track, unoriginal and efficient as ever, although the seventh chunk of armoured death metal named _Honour, Valour, Pride_ is unfortunately plagued by a number of flaws which, I feel, prevent it from being able to rival with the grandeur of earlier Bolt Thrower milestones such as _IVth Crusade_ or _...For Victory_. Indeed, producer Andy Faulkner fails to deliver the crunchy trademark Bolt Thrower sound Colin Richards never failed to achieve or which, on _Mercenary_, Ewan Davies somewhat succeeded in attaining. Another problem is Dave Ingram's "I wanna be Karl Willets" vocals; it would have been wiser by far to actually capitalise on the wholly different texture of his vocals (which, for instance, are particularly brutal on Benediction's _Transcend the Rubicon_), instead of having him attempt to imitate the gruff, threatening growls so typical of Bolt Thrower's former vocalist. Finally, the other, more striking problem on _Honour, Valour, Pride_ is that... all in all, this is nothing more than a competent, efficient, but totally uninspired rehash of standard Bolt Thrower trooper gear; even though some tracks fail not to showcase some great, powerful moments of crushing heaviness, _Honour, Valour, Pride_ is globally samey and rather uninspired in the long run. Sure, if you've never yet heard Bolt Thrower, this rasping baby will keep you on your toes for quite a while -- that is, precisely until you discover these Briton blasters' former milestones, which will mercilessly relegate this chunk into the oft-forgotten shelf of deja-vu releases. This very honourable attempt at keeping Bolt Thrower's raucous, trademark sound alive is unfortunately doomed to fail to become a valorous item on my CD shelf, and is ultimately a release I would only show modest pride in, had I previously unleashed masterpieces like _The IVth Crusade_ or _...For Victory_.

(article published 14/1/2002)

10/31/2005 J Smit Bolt Thrower: Armageddon's Just a Matter of Time
1/14/2002 A Bromley Bolt Thrower: Metal Pride
1/16/1999 P Schwarz Bolt Thrower: Mercenaries; Battling For Victory
10/10/2005 J Smit 9 Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal
10/1/1998 A Bromley 7 Bolt Thrower - Mercenary
3/14/1999 M Noll Bolt Thrower / Crowbar / Totenmond Zeus Himself Would've Been Proud
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