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Artillery – Penalty By Perception Award winner

Penalty By Perception
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 09 May 2016, 8:24 AM

Danish thrashers ARTILLERY have outdone themselves on “Penalty By Perception.” Their eighth full length is an absolute joy from start to finish and it sounds fantastic. The songs are terrific, the production is top notch, and while they won’t win any points for originality, the sheer enthusiasm is obvious even on the first listen. This is one of those albums where you can almost hear the band members bouncing around the studio, overdosed on caffeine and having fun making music. Thrash has a tendency to get a bit one-dimensional sometimes, and while all of these songs are unmistakeably the product of the same band, they still squeeze in a surprising amount of variety. If you count yourself as a true Thrash connoisseur, this one is a must have.

It’d be a shame then if these veterans got lost in the mix again as the musical landscape has been filled with similar records of late. Both MEGADETH and ANTHRAX have recently brought out well-publicised albums of a high standard so it’s understandable that “Penalty By Perception” might slip past a few people, but it is arguably better than both of them. Actually no, let’s lay our cards on the table and state it for a fact;

Penalty By Perception” is better than “For All Kings” and “Dystopia.”

Although before you all rush to the comments section to explain how wrong we are, let us elaborate. This is an album that will appeal to hardcore and casual Thrashers alike, but even non-metalheads will find something to enjoy. You want fast, heavy, pit inducers? Well, “In Defiance Of Conformity,” “Live By The Scythe” and the razor-sharp title track have got that covered. Are you hungry for a mid-paced, stomping number to punch the air to? “Path Of The Atheist” will sort you right out. Jesus, do you want a ballad that’ll help turn your girlfriend into a Thrash fan? “When The Magic Is Gone” is her golden ticket; and it’s so good you’ll play it even when she’s not around.

There are still a few odd moments scattered throughout as well. The intro to “Sin Of Innocence” for example, is a brief thirty seconds of quirkiness before it descends into more headbanging fury; but for the most part it is very accessible old school Metal. And if “Cosmic Brain” isn’t the best slice of moronic Party-Metal this side of a GAMA BOMB album, then DAVID CAMERON’s financial affairs are all morally acceptable and completely above board.

This is all improved by the excellent production level. Every note is crisp and clear, the power chords land with a satisfying crunch and it’ll leave you wondering how METALLICA still manage to make albums that sound like dogshit when their budgets are about sixty times higher.

In other words, ARTILLERY are the underdogs who’ve just won the Thrash heavyweight title. “Penalty By Perception” is a fantastic album, and it’s done this simply by being what it is: eleven terrific songs, one after the other. You’ll have it on repeat for months and won’t skip a track. And the only real problem is in the closing number “Welcome To The Mindfactory”, where the word “welcome” gets chanted in such a way it sounds like “wanker.”

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. In Defiance Of Conformity
2. Live By The Scythe
3. Penalty By Perception
4. Mercy Of Ignorance
5. Rites Of War
6. Sin Of Innocence
7. When The Magic Is Gone
8. Cosmic Brain
9. Deity Machine
10. Path Of The Atheist
11. Welcome To The Mindfactory
Morten Stutzer – Guitar
Michael Stutzer – Guitar
Peter Thorslund – Bass
Josua Madsen – Drums
Michael Bastholm Dahl - Vocals
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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