The idea of perseverance over time is something that so many metal bands can relate to and even embody as we still have bands that have been going for decades upon decades who were formed in the infantile days of death metal, who saw thrash become a phenomenon, and who entered the new millennium with decades of experience already behind them. Artillery is a magnificent example of that to the very core, and despite going on a few breaks here and there, it’s no argument to say that this classic thrash act is as alive as they’ve ever been and their new album, just two years after their previous magnificent album, they show no signs of slowing down.
Being able to simply keep bringing new material to the table so many years after your debut album is an idea that I will never be able to not appreciate to the highest degree as I find it hard sometimes just to find the words to type the shit you’re reading now, and acts like Artillery have been doing it since the fucking 80s which boggles my mind to no end. It was with their last album, “Penalty by Perception”, that I got my real introduction to Artillery and I still love the record to death and going into “The Face of Fear” I was expecting something different but obviously familiar since I never took Artillery as a band to copy and paste the same thing from one record to the next. Luckily, I was right as the eleven tracks do not have the same high octane melody that the previous record does but it does rely on some classic thrash tropes that allow Artillery to really make this record an album that feels like it was pulled straight from the heyday of thrash back in the 80s. It’s an odd sensation that I really wasn’t expecting with “The Face of Fear”, but Artillery proved to be more than up to the challenge as they have the speed down to a science, the power to keep things moving, the capability to simultaneously make these songs feel modern but still have an old-school tone to them that makes them an absolute joy to listen to, and then the pure musicianship that goes into “The Face of Fear” is no less than stellar as you can really tell Artillery poured their souls into this record.
I don’t enjoy this record as much as I do the previous, but in no small way is “The Face of Fear” anything that I’d consider bad or unsavory as it’s got everything you could ever want out of a classic feeling thrash record that hits all the right spots masterfully. Artillery has yet again done an exemplary job with their third album in just four years, and they show no signs of slowing down or letting the quality slip.
“The Face of Fear” releases on November 16th via Metal Blade Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “The Face of Fear” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Artillery on Facebook here.
FOLLOW Artillery on Twitter: @ArtilleryMetal