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Ambush - Infidel Award winner

Ambush
Infidel
by Emily Schneider at 09 March 2020, 9:12 PM

Old school Heavy Metal. I always have this stereotype in mind when I read the genre name; typically I visualize a lot of leather and chains, the smell of sweat and booze, and there's this certain riff style that's synonymous to the genre. AMBUSH is a Heavy Metal band, that's certainly undeniable, but they also manage to crack the mold with their 3rd studio album “Infidel”. The music is plenty of fun to listen to, but it also has some spooky darker themes throughout. It makes it's Friday the 13th  (of March) release date perfectly fitting. It's basically pure hot blooded Heavy Metal with a twist that I'll explain more about throughout the 'track by track' portion coming up.


The album kicks off with the title track “Infidel”. It's a high energy track with a fast tempo and catchy melodies in both the vocals and from the clean and crisp solos. “Yperite” continues the great head bob worthy tempo, but then cues in some glam guitar tones. I could visualize some massive stage theatrics in this one; flashing lights, empty booze bottles scattered about, and most importantly, studded leather everything. “Leave Them to Die” has a darker flair to it, especially lyrically. The lyric “eye for an eye” helps to create a much more dystopian visual. I could imagine dark figures (perhaps werewolves?) taking revenge on the world they feel wronged them, leaving carnage in their wake. The solos sounded like a boxing match with how the guitarists dueled then moved in unison in a skillful way. This was one cool track.  “Hellbiter” shifts the mood to a more angsty, remorseful one. The lyrics seem to be about an encounter with a vampire and the slower pace of the music meshes well with that theme. Oskar's vocals on this track are stellar with how he pours every emotion the song evokes into every word he sings.

The Summoning” is an eerie instrumental track that builds up perfectly into “The Demon Within”. This song has these rapid ominous riffs that honestly sound pretty evil. The solos in this are so chaotic, they create a scene of hellfire bursting from the earth. Then, those banshee-like high notes from Oskar truly bring the wickedness into the track. “A Silent Killer” continued the menacing story from the previous track. This song has some major JUDAS PRIEST influence shining through as well. “Iron Helm of War” is such a Power/Speed Metal laden track. The vocals are massive and theatrical, the guitars are speedy and fierce. This song is seemingly a battle between demons and angels and it has such a kick ass triumphant energy to indicate a battlefield. The last line of the song is so chilling. “Heart of Stone” is a return to the headbang worthy riffs and the visuals of flashing lights and studded leather… perhaps tarnished leather armor to be more accurate. The chorus is pretty catchy in this one too. “Lust For Blood”  is the melodic closing song of the album. While it didn't create any other visuals in mind, it did have me grooving and tapping my foot throughout. The solo was, once again, awesome with the cool clean dueling guitar style with an almost pretty sounding melody.

All and all, “Infidel” wasn't what I was expecting and that's not in a negative way in the slightest. I was anticipating some old school Heavy Metal worship with some great cheesy lyrics and Rock anthem-like melodies. Instead, this album surprised me with songs that do well paying homage to the ghosts of metal past, but also modernized the sound with some clean cool production. Plus, I love how the album starts out upbeat, then some sort of solar eclipse happens between songs 2 and 3 and it takes a turn to a totally different direction lyrically and otherwise. The dark lyrical content was a welcome surprise, I adore great storytelling and these guys really know how to create these harrowing tales with their music. I found myself listening closely to the lyrics, I just had to know what was coming next. Not to mention, Oskar is one hell of a vocalist with how he can not only tell the story of what's happening, but also evoke the emotions one would feel enduring such events. The dueling guitars on this album also do well with building the atmosphere of the songs and bringing each story to life. To sum it all up, I truly enjoyed this album and found it stands out in the diluted world of pure Heavy Metal.


Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Infidel
2. Yperite
3. Leave Them to Die
4. Hellbiter
5. The Summoning
6. The Demon Within
7. A Silent Killer
8. Iron Helm of War
9. Heart of Stone
10. Lust for Blood
Lineup:
Oskar Jacobsson - Vocals
Adam Hagelin - Guitar
Olof Engqvist - Guitar
Ludwig Sjöholm - Bass
Linus Fritzson – Drums
Record Label: High Roller Records
     


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