Hail of Bullets

Of Frost and War

Metal Blade 2008

2008 has been a great year for death metal.  Continuing this trend is the Dutch supergroup, Hail of Bullets which contains members of Asphyx, Gorefest, and Thanatos.  Musically Hail of Bullets melds the heaviness of Boltthrower with the morbid brutality of early Dismember.  Album opener Ordered Eastward moans and groans forward, gaining steam like a mechanized infantry assault paving the way for the skillful killing machine that follows in the form of The Lake Ladoga Massacre.  General Winter slows things down a little bit to start off with, reminiscent of Marten's other band, Asphyx, but then the tempo surges forward like a massive artillery barrage.  My favorite track, Machthexen, pays homage to the female Russian pilots while a double bass attack powers a rumbling death machine that would do Boltthrower proud.  Marching to a martial beat and leaving nothing but scorched earth is the hellfire of Stalingrad.  Appropriately and finally, illustrating the lifeless and silent battlefield in the face of annihilation is album closer, Berlin which is slower than the rest of the material and filled with an aura of regret.  Martin Van Drunen's  is in prime form as his unique and caustic lungs spew forth unparalleled carnage on this recording.  Lyrically this album paints a picture of man's inhumanity through the atrocities of war on the Eastern Front during World War II.  The guitar tone on this album is excellent as it maintains a down-tuned putridity while remaining essentially crisp and clean.  Hail of Bullets has delivered an album that does old school death metal justice and drives home the power and morbidity of traditional primitiveness.  Perhaps these musicians should abandon their primary bands for the unabashed triumph of Of Frost and War!  I can't wait to hear Hail of Bullets as they musically begin Advancing Once More!!!!