Those Once Loyal
Metal Blade 2005
Consistency is a word that best describes Bolt Thrower's output throughout the years. They have incorporated a little more melody this time around but it still sounds as heavy and pummeling as the Day I saw them live back in 91 in Tampa. These days I think the riffing style that Bolt Thrower employs makes them one of the heaviest bands out there. It's like being crushed beneath the weight of a mechanized battalion. Listen to the main riff of The Killchain and you'll understand what I mean. Those Once Loyal kicks off with the song At First Light which hooks the listener with one of those melodic embellishments that I was referring to. The album never lets go of your throat after that until the somber monument to the dead called When Cannons Fade. My favorite moment is during the title track's main riff when sounds so brooding and calls to mind a daring night mission against a formidable enemy. The production is thick and heavy suiting Bolt Thrower's style perfectly. Karl Willets' vocals are a little drier than I remember though. It still sounds good but maybe all these years of growling will soon be catching up with him. Of course all the lyrics still deal with the subject of war. Whenever I get into listening to Bolt Thrower the overall feeling of their music is that of a fleet of tanks rumbling across the barren wastes of a modern battlefield. Bolt Thrower is still as strong as ever and are one of the few bands you can count on for a solid album of punishingly heavy death metal. With albums of this quality you never want war to end for fear of Bolt Thrower quitting. Doubtful!