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Artillery – Deadly Relics (Reissue)

Deadly Relics (Reissue)
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 12 October 2019, 9:22 PM

The current band line up has Morten’s brother and only other band member to feature in any of these songs, Michael Stützer. All these songs are from the band’s original stint before disbanding in 1991, they then got back together in 1998 for 2 years before disbanding again in 2000 and reuniting once more in 2007 and remain together to this day, in the band’s longest running stint. The sad and recent loss of Morten Stützer has shocked the band, but have said that they will be doing a new album next year. Though, at this point it hasn’t been said how he died, the band are united as one.

Khomaniac” is a great song, it starts off with a clean cutting guitar which sets a decent pace. Not the fasted, most Thrash paced song, but its controlled well by the other band members. It's more DIAMOND HEAD pace than TESTAMENT but it works. Vocals are well-paced in line with the instrumentalists. The beat throughout never fades. The song seems to have more emphasis on instruments than vocals, but that being said is not an insult. It's such a well-played song.  It makes you think how many bands listened to this and created their own melodies. This sound is old school Thrash at its peak. “Don’t Believe” is a slower starting song, more of a power ballad approach maybe. It doesn’t last too long; you can hear the build-up coming as Flemming kicks in his own styles. The song breaks into segments well with the short chorus, bridge and eventual solo. The song is balanced well, even if it’s in a frantic way. They change pace, but do so in a structured way. The song swings back and forth throughout, with short out bursts of vocals, mainly the chorus, but mostly its instrumentalists.

Out of the Sky” starts off with a slower, sludgier riff. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it picks up pace slightly and vocals ensue, but the start seemed pointless. It does kick-off in the final 3rd into a frenzy, albeit a short outburst. The pace is not controlled as well here and vocals are too short to really get into. “Fear of Tomorrow” is another short (in terms of Thrash songs) song. Very similar, if not too similar to “Out of the Sky”, it basically sounds the same, and until the vocals start, you could think it is the same song. You can see at this point in the band’s history they weren’t exactly throwing out their best work. It is a mix of distorted riffs with short and almost pointless vocals. When the guitars become cleaner, they work, but song is not the greatest ever, that being said, it is still one of the better ones of the rest of the album

What you have to remember about the late 80’s Thrash, is that it is just as the great albums are about to be produced. It's before TESTAMENT’s “Legacy” was released to the world. We had just had SLAYER kick out “Reign in Blood”, as well as “Show No Mercy” and “Hell Awaits” before. The issue is that in 1986 they had to go up against Bay Area Thrash albums like “Seven Churches” by POSSESSED, EXODUS’Bonded by Blood “, MEGADETH’sKilling Is My Business… and Business Is Good!” and “Peace Sells… but Who's Buying?” not to mention METALLICA’s Cliff Burton Trio of “Kill ‘Em All”, “Ride The Lightening” and “Master of Puppets”. So the songs may sound similar to everything we’ve heard before, but that’s because they helped to set the bar. These demo songs will show many people that the band were declining at points, which did lead to the breakup.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Artilleristic Prelude MCMXCVIII
2. Khomaniac
3. Don't Believe
4. Out of the Sky
5. Fear of Tomorrow
6. Deeds of Darkness
7. Too Late to Regret
8. Deserter
9. Hey Woman
10. Time Has Come
11. All for You
12. Bitch
13. Blessed Are the Strong
Michael Bastholm Dahl – Lead Vocals
Michael Stützer – Guitars
Peter Thorslund – Bass Guitar
Josua Madsen – Drums

Former Band Members

Carsten Nielsen – Drums (Track 2-13)
Morten Stützer (R.I.P. 2019) – Guitars (Track 2-13)
Flemming Rönsdorf – Vocals (Track 2-5)
Jørgen Sandau – Guitar (Track 4-13)
Carsten Lohmann – Vocals (Track 6-13)
Record Label: Mighty Music


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