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Hail Of Bullets - III: The Rommel Chronicles

Hail Of Bullets
III: The Rommel Chronicles
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 28 October 2013, 4:29 PM

The last great world war has been over for decades; however there will be always those will do anything in their power to remind the populace of what occurred so many years ago, the atrocities, endless mounts of death, the senseless degeneracies inflicted in one of mankind’s darkest hours. On the other hand, the memory should also trigger today’s society, and world leaders, a different path, to learn from past mistakes, learning to develop peaceful means for a worldwide harmony. No doubt that the world is far from a state of utopia, therefore, another storyline of conquests and militarized memoriam won’t do any harm. HAIL OF BULLETS, a sort of a supergroup consisting of lions of the Dutch old school Death Metal scene (members of ASPHYX, THANATOS, GOREFEST and HOUWITZER), marked a purpose for themselves since day one, to let their listeners achieve a certain understanding of WWII campaigns and peaks of interest, personal narratives, partially sticking to historical facts, allowing a portion of a chance to relive events. This time, with a closer attention to the North African conquest of the Nazi war machine, HAIL OF BULLETS issues the chronicles of the Desert Fox, also known as Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, with “III: The Rommel Chronicles”, via Metal Blade Records, stuffed into a pool of meat grinding Death Metal as the early 90’s scene dictated back in its glorious days.

Listening to bits and pieces of the previous HAIL OF BULLETS albums, aided my realization of how this band has been constant with their song writing. Also it was quite evident the band’s keenness to continue spreading the piercing old school denouement. Embodying merits and qualities of SLAYERish Thrash a long with motifs of the members’ own bands and with reminders of the British Doomish nature of BLACK SABBATH and the deathly extrications of BOLT THROWER, meaning merciless butchering Death Metal with a few gloomy Doom flavors inhibiting and nurturing the sorrowful chunky riffs, “III: The Rommel Chronicles” might not be fire burning as it was on the African front, yet its dense impenetrable smoke screen provided it with enough opulence and the rightful scenery. In general, may it be for best or worst, this album made me feel as if I was traveling on a straight line, without the ability to cross over to anywhere, just remain on the path. Every now and then things would slow down, yet the path remained as it is, same ol’ thing altogether, no twists, no turns.

In musical terms, HAIL OF BULLETS’s persistence, straightforwardness and determination fueled this release with great rhythm guitar riffery earsplitting with palm muted picking pounding chunks of aching Doom with Death Metal caustic notes, a few harmonic notations and when brought to the fight there were also hell fueled soloing artistries of the howling SLAYER demonic nature. The toughness of the rhythm section is a the grounds of high standard with an impeccable synergy of drum and bass. The vocal line was as I expected, raspy voice with a few growl signatures, and I have a perfect knowledge of the vocalist’s abilities due to his other mischiefs. On the other hand, the band’s brick wall conviction inhibited a disparaged path into the midst of monotony, lack of richness within riffing and after a while the drumming appeared all the same. Nothing lame here of course, just ended up too much typical. For one thing, for the band’s benefit out of all this, they had knew just how to channel emotional distress and the anguish of war. I would recommend having a go on songs that made me appreciate the band’s efforts such as “The Desert Fox”, “The Final Front”, “DG-7” and the dramatic requiem like swansong, “Death Of A Field Marshal”. Expect your journey through the ashes of war to be melancholic, grey but blistering with intensity.

3 Star Rating

1. Swoop Of The Falcon
2. Pour le Mérite
3. DG-7
4. To The Last Breath Of Man And Beast
5. DAK
6. The Desert Fox
7. Tobruk
8. Farewell to Africa
9. The Final Front
10. Death Of A Field Marshal
Martin Van Drunen - Vocals
Paul Baayens - Guitar
Stephan Gebedi - Guitar
Theo Van Eekelen - Bass
Ed Warby - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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