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Arthemis - Blood-Fury-Domination

by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 23 May 2017, 12:44 PM

Blood-Fury-Domination” gets better as it goes along. The eighth full-length from perpetual underdogs ARTHEMIS is one of those rare-albums where you find yourself skipping the first half to get to the good stuff at the back. The initial five songs go from decent to dismal, but once past the halfway point this record really comes alive. It’s not going to be remembered as one of 2017’s best but as a diverting forty-five minutes it’s perfectly enjoyable if a little wobbly.

The Italians charge straight out the gates with “Undead.” An upbeat blend of Power and Thrash Metal, it comes with high-speed riffs and a chorus that’s perfect for bellowing at the top of your voice, even if the line about “juicy warriors” is somewhat distracting. After this engaging start however they struggle to keep the momentum going as “Black Sun,” “Blood Red Sky” and “Blistering Eyes” are all a bit predictable. They’re not especially bad, but the hooks don’t land and they feel dangerously average compared to the opener. Things then take an excruciating turn as the appalling sub-MANOWAR ballad “If I Fall” threatens to derail them completely. This one is overly cheesy, ridiculously soppy and could have been played by a bare-chested German Pop star from the eighties. It’s a chore to sit through and before it fades out, it’s very tempting to switch the whole thing off and check out a different record instead.

But then “Warcry” arrives, the troops rally and “Blood-Fury-Domination” begins an almighty comeback. This ridiculous Speed-Metal anthem is the start of a wicked five-song combo that saves them from disaster. “Into The Arena” is the big crowd-participation song, “Dark Fire” comes with POWERWOLF levels of pomp, while “Firetribe” is riotously enjoyable and climaxes with a surprisingly cool breakdown that UNEARTH would kill for.

Inner-Fury Unleashed” rounds off this winning run in satisfyingly metallic splendour and while the closing “Rituals” isn’t quite as good, the eighth ARTHEMIS album still ends on a high point. It’s strong enough to make you want to go right back to the start and begin again, but doing so only makes the weaknesses of the earlier songs more apparent. “Blood-Fury-Domination” is a long way from terrible and the second half is exceptional, but they could do with tightening up the writing occasionally. Even if it might have worked better as an extended EP than a full-length though, it’s still worth a purchase and a tough one to dislike.

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 6
Production: 8
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Undead
2. Black Sun
3. Blood Red Sky
4. Blistering Eyes
5. If I Fall
6. Warcry
7. Into The Arena
8. Dark Fire
9. Firetribe
10. Inner Fury Unleashed
11. Rituals
Andrea Martongelli – Guitars
Fabio D. – Vocals
Francesco Tresca – Drums
Giorgio “JT” Terenziani – Bass
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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