|Posted on December 11, 2014 at 11:00 PM|
Bullet - Storm of Blades
Written by Antony Scholefield
It's no longer news that the Swedish are metal specialists. From classic metal to deathcore, they deliver the goods with absolute earnestness. They don't have the tongue-in-cheek attitude or self-conscious cynicism that plagues modern American and English metal. There's none of this hopeless-romantic whining either.
Bullet occupy a place in the metal scene that's halfway between AC/DC and Accept, although singer Hell Hofer sounds a lot like Nazareth's recently-retired Dan McCafferty. He's a crazy character by all accounts. He looks like Meat Loaf in a Marc Bolan wig, for starters.
The title track from Bullet's new album, 'Storm of Blades', reminds me of Nazareth's 'God of the Mountain', with a pulsating rhythm that never lets up. It's electric in its energy, but the album really finds its groove with a more precise style later.
'Riding High' and 'This One's For You' have clear, clean-cut riffs that stick in your brain. You can hum them, but they're heavy too. At the start of 'Tornado', you might even think you're listening to AC/DC's 'For Those About To Rock'. The riffs are very similar and the whole song has the kind of mid-tempo groove that the Young brothers love so much.
I remember reading a piece by producer Rick Rubin talking about AC/DC having the groove. Whether the song is fast or slow, the groove is there. Bullet are heavier than AC/DC, in an early-80s type of way, but they have their own groove too.
Consistency is a big thing for Bullet - it's difficult to identify any blips in Storm of Blades. Perhaps the last track, 'Coming In Loud', is a bit off. 'Crossfire' stalls for while, but finishes with a bang, crash and wallop. 'Hawk Eyes' is a massive highlight, with its clear riff, fast pace and Richie Blackmore-esque solo.
'It's On' is another great track. Its rhythm reminds me of 'Let There Be Rock', but with an extra engine behind it. The guitar break is a little slower and funkier - not manic like the others - but no worse for that.
I've reviewed so many great Swedish metal albums this year that I've run out of Swedish puns and comments. Let's just say you can trust them to get things right. Bullet tick every box for old-school metal, with some added crazy too. I'm not even sure why you're still reading this. Get down to the record store and get around Storm of Blades.
Categories: Album Reviews