ARTILLERY – By Inheritance

ARTILLERY - By Inheritance
  • 9/10
    ARTILLERY - By Inheritance - 9/10


Metal Mind Records
Release date: November 10, 2008

User Review
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Metal Mind Records from Poland has made an effort to renew some Thrash Metal classics. Artillery, along with other bands, was one of these bands. Maybe it is, in a way, connected to the fact that the Danish band is back in action and someone needs to remind the Metal world that the Artillery barrage has started falling again. All the band’s albums were renewed under Metal Mind along with their new DVD, One Foot In The Grave, The Other One In The Trash. Here is a full closure on one of the band’s releases, By Inheritance, the group’s third album.

First, here are some facts on these Danish Thrashers. The band’s formation was in 1982 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Between the years, 1982-1985 Artillery released four demos. The last demo Fear Of Tomorrow was turned into the band’s official debut after re-recording under the band’s first label, Neat Records. Two years later Death Squad was released under the same label, presenting a more aggressive path. On the 29th of May 1990, under the famous Roadrunner Records, By Inheritance was fumed into the air and with it brought a more powerful Thrash music with undeniable technicality and sophistication.

The renowned Danish producer, Flemming Rasmussen, produced the album. Rasmussen is, largely, known for his work on one of Metallica’s best albums, Master Of Puppets. In this release, Rasmussen was able, almost, to create the same sound as Metallica’s back in 1986 with huge success. The album’s sound is very powerful, which makes the music sound somewhat brutal, heavy and screaming. Every Metalhead who knows and adores Master Of Puppets will worship this album’s sound which is absolutely, pure heavyweight Thrash Metal mayhem.

By Inheritance is, by far, the band’s most mature release, both musically and lyrically. While reading the band’s lyrics, one can find themes that were very common in 80’s Thrash Metal. For example: songs of protest. “Khomaniac” discusses the faults of wars based on religion and there is “Bombfood” that is very similar to Metallica’s strong “Disposable Heroes”. In addition, there are songs about life in death and society issues. Examples are: “Life In Bondage” that talks about slavery and the classic “Don’t Believe” gives a view on false preachers. These themes continued to be a major thing in 90’s Thrash Metal as well.

Artillery has changed its course of action, as a part of its maturity process. All over this album, the music becomes not only aggressive and powerful but also a lot more technical than previous releases. The band’s technicality has similarities to Megadeth, Slayer and even in some way, Death. The guitars produce many harmonies and complex riffs that will leave your mouth open, aside from the rhythm section, the solos are penetrating with high skill. The drums act appropriately within the music and cultivate many tempo changes and versatile styles of playing. Along with drums, the bass guitar delivers various melodic lines and sometimes takes the role as the leading instrument.

Here is a small comparison that will emphasize the band’s new way. Take the second track, “Khomaniac” and compare it to its predecessor, “Too Late To Regret”, from the 1984 demo, Deeds Of Darkness. While hearing both tracks one should listen to the rhythm section. While giving a blind eye to the measure of heaviness between the songs, you can see that the rhythms of the demo are very simple and how diverse and complex “Khomaniac”’s thundering and shifting rhythm goes. Not many bands choose to go through this sort of “evolution” but Artillery made it, musically, and they accomplished their goal. However, not every band that went through this phase made it out alive.

As a bonus from Metal Mind, the album consists of an additional six tracks. The first track is “Too Late To Regret” from the 1984 Deeds Of Darkness , the second one is a demo of “Don’t Believe”, which has some parts that are better than the re-recorded one. Coming in third is “Hey Woman” that is from the Fear Of Tomorrow demo and also was among the Speed Metal Hell compilation in 1985. Fourth is the track “All For You” that is sung by the band’s previous singer, Carsten Lohmann. The song was taken from the Shellshock demo of 1984. The song’s lyrics are quite outrageous about Satanism. “Blessed Are The Strong” is the forefather of “Don’t Believe” and also appeared in the band’s Shellshock demo. This track is a very interesting piece. The last track is “Day Of Doom” from 1982 that didn’t appear in any of the band’s demos. The band’s first singer, Per Onlink, sang this one and made it sound like a very old Running Wild tune.

Artillery’s five members are a well talented group of musicians and deserve a full cover. The vocalist, today ex-vocalist, Flemming Ronsdorf, shows that he is a brilliant vocalist demonstrating high-end and raspy notes along with some measure of softness. His voice resembles the early era of Bobby Blitz of Overkill (Feel The Fire era) mixed with ex-Exodus frontman Zetro. The man has more than some moments and he delivers more interest to various songs that have gone technical. The two guitarist brothers, Michael and Morten Stutzer, have made an incredible effort by making complex melodic tunes along some great Thrashy riffs. Before this recording, Morten was the band’s bass player and since this release, he gave his position to be a guitarist alongside his bro. Peter Thornwood, the bass player, which came as a new member to the band back then, shows a variety of lead bass riffs along with many melodies. The talented drummer, Carsten Nielsen, as was mentioned before, plays a major role in the rhythmic department and does it with excellence.

Heading for the song section makes the difficult task of choosing the best tracks. Each one of these tracks symbols a major breakthrough in Thrash Metal that has brought the beginning of its second era over the 1990s. Nevertheless, several will get some writing time. “Don’t Believe” is arguably the best track of them all. This track combines softness with pure evil. Ronsdorf does his best work here. The riffs are just amazing and the solos; no words are enough to describe them.”Khomaniac” is a great technical piece that begins a new phase in Artillery’s career. “Bombfood” , musically, is not close to “Disposable Heroes”. This one is much more complex than the others and shows some great bass work. “Life In Bondage” is a melodic Thrasher that discusses the hard issue of Slavery. The cover track of Nazareth’s “Razamanaz” is an excellent work with heaviness and speed. This track is also a good job by Ronsdorf. The demo track “All For You”, outrageous as it is, is still a good track with a slight Mercyful Fate influence.

Since 2007, Artillery are back on the road with Crystal Eye’s singer Nico Adamsen and they are probably working on a new album by now. By Inheritance is a great Thrasher and is one of the top Thrash albums of all time. Let the Artillery barrage fire some new explosive tracks that will become moshers as their old shells.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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