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Bolt Thrower - Realm of Chaos

1989 Earache Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

Realm of Chaos comes screaming out of the gate like a juggernaut. Bolt Thrower are definitely one of my favorite bands, and listening to each of their albums is a grueling experience. It seems that most of this album is based on Warhammer 40K, and while listening to ROC, you are almost transported to the battlefield. There is something dark and hypnotic about the guitar riffs, while the drums pound relentlessly. The attack is somewhat looser than on subsequent Lps, but for pure adrenaline value, Realm of Chaos is aptly named, and a must have for any fan of death metal.

Bolt Thrower - Warmaster

1990 Earache Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

Slower than it's predecessor, Warmaster finds Bolt Thrower slowing things down and actually tuning things higher! In my opinion, this is the first real Bolt Thrower record, as here the band begins to really define the sound that they would later perfect. The overall sound is good, albeit the band is still a little off-kilter, kind of like a Panzer tank with one busted chain. Truly strange drumming from Andy Whale, a double bass monster who plays just slightly off-time, his signature style, and a pretty interesting one at that. Really cool songs keep this beast moving at full speed, although, as I stated before, there's still some old punkiness present which allows things to kinda get out of control. Still, Bolt Thrower is Bolt Thrower, there's just no other band out there that can hold a candle, really. So where does Warmaster stand in the BT Discography? Way above Realm of Chaos in terms of quality, but a couple steps below the next two.

Bolt Thrower - The IVth Crusade

1992 Earache Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

And the war machine keeps turning... Starting off with one of the best opening riffs in my memory, Bolt Thrower continue their path towards world domination. Colin Richardson here honing BT's ever growing skill into a lethal killing machine. In trying to describe what makes Bolt Thrower so good, I'd have to say that the guitars just envelop you, leaving no room for anything else. I've let these gentle sounds lull me to sleep many a night. I guess Bolt Thrower have just perfected their sound here, there's no real musical growth, but it's obvious that each of the members has achieved a level of confidence here which just pours into the performances. Overall sound is supposedly a little too mid-rangy, but man, to me, this shit is heavy! If you know the Bolt Thrower sound, then this is prime stuff for you to enjoy, if you're unfamiliar, well, if unrelenting heaviness is your gig, just buy this. I swear you won't be disappointed.

Bolt Thrower - ...for Victory

1994 Earache Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

Another Bolt Thrower album. ...For Victory is basically The Fourth Crusade re-recorded with the riffs changed. Why do I say this? Because Bolt Thrower are about as close to perfect as a band can get, and they're smart enough to realize that altering this sound will do nothing positive for them. Musicianship is superb, with Andy Whale continuing the assault on his knees by playing about 40 minutes of constant double bass. His penchant for off-placed snare hits remains, but he, as well as everyone else, functions like a well-oiled machine, Willets barking out vocals like a deranged drill sergeant, just decimating everything in his path. Another brilliant opening riff (very similar to TFC) and it just gets better. One problem I found with their last opus was that around the halfway point, things began to blend together a bit too much. Not a problem for me here. The whole album just flies by, and when the finale hits (marked by a cannon firing) I'm always surprised. As of now, my favorite Bolt Thrower record, this is a must have.

Bolt Thrower - Mercenary

1998 Metal Blade Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

Some line-up changes in the Bolt Thrower camp, but you'd never know it from this chunk o' coal. New drummer Alex Thomas lays down the beats appropriately, and gone are the off time snare hits that Andy Whale revolutionized earlier in the game, but that's about it for major changes here. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. This panzer could run forever as far as I'm concerned, and as long as BT are content to run this semi-groovy war metal into the dirt, I'll shell out the cash. The swirling, choking atmosphere that is a recorded Bolt Thrower experience remains, yet there are some shimmering rays of hope in the melody lines added. On again off again vocalist Karl Willets is thankfully back, even if it's just for this album. Can't spot too much to separate this from The Fourth Crusade or ...for Victory, but if thought of as a continuation of one central idea, magnified in scope due to a higher degree of competence, this is a winner.