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Bullet Proof – Cell XIX

Bullet Proof
Cell XIX
by Jon-Paul McCarthy at 28 February 2022, 6:00 AM

Hailing from Italy and Slovakia, BULLET PROOF have delivered their third studio album for Sleaszy Rider SRL. Helmed by Father and Son team, Richard and Lukas Hupka, the band have undergone some line-up changes since their initial incarnation in 2014 with Andrea Demasi now handling second guitar duties with Frederico Fontanari continuing to hold down the bass guitar. “Cell XIX” opens with a growing and intense introduction with some nice reverse-effect guitar slivers into the very thrash-friendly and melodic “Brainocide” Almost every thrash trick in the book is present and correct and used to great effect. Half time breakdowns, melodic choruses and very power-metal friendly guitar solos.

“When Truth And Trust Collapsed” provides a lighter and more power-metal vibe and exposes some well employed vocal harmonies, a theme continued through “Paralyzed” before entering into the very MEGADETH inspired “No Future” which for me was the stand out track here. Really this track would not be out of place on “Youthanasia” era MEGADETH but with far more palatable vocals. “Cell XIX” continues the power/thrash theme but utilises a few musical devices that distract the listener well before a double-kick bridge. This title track does a great job showcasing Lukas Hupka’s extremely well refined drumming talent. BULLET PROOF really delivers the goods with the album’s second stand-out track.

“Cold Sign” is altogether more stompy and some would potentially call more mainstream influenced. The musicianship and songwriting do save the difficult slower song that bands of this ilk are expect to include. It’s a good segue into “Undeniable Decline” which is slower, more grinding and doesn’t relent until the chorus. The album signs off with “Perfectly Divided People” and “Perception of Reality”. The former stands as the album’s final nod to the trash metal roots before culminating in a final anthem of sorts. Signing off with a trading off of guitar solos could be prodded as something that’s been done before in the 1980s. but I don’t think BULLET PROOF are necessarily afraid of exposing their obvious influences.

Thoroughly entertaining, enthralling and very well produced, “Cell XIX” has enough to keep the interest of fans from almost any genre of metal. The harsh but clean vocals leave it accessible to a wide audience and the musicians are very accomplished. There isn’t a lot that sparks as brand new and never seen before and thus none of the tracks immediately impact as being especially memorable. But it is well executed, enjoyable and very inoffensive to the ears. As the band’s biography suggests, I don’t think “Cell XIX” would be out of place next to somebody’s TESTAMENT, MEGADETH or even ANTHRAX collection.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Endovena Intro
2. Brainocide
3. When Truth And Trust Collapsed
4. Paralyzed
5. No Future
6. Cell XIX
7. Cold Sigh
8. Undeniable Decline
9. Perfectly Divided People
10. Perception Of Reality
11. All I Want (The Offspring)
Lineup:
Richard Hupka - Guitars, Vocals
Lukas Hupka - Drums
Federico Fontanari -  Bass
Andrea Demasi - Guitars
Record Label: Sleaszy Rider Records
     


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