on December 12, 2004
For the poster below, email me at sknight [AT] dreamtheater [DOT] zzn [DOT] com. Put ARTILLERY in the subject. I got in touch with their record company and would like to speak to you.
Back to the review:
This is a great return for one of the founders of thrash metal. I was lucky and got a copy of the Japanese version which has two extra tracks and another insert. I have to say those two tracks are perhaps the best songs on the album and I don't know why they left them off for the rest of the world. Quite a shame because anyone who's so-so about this effort would have no doubt they are unchanged by the years off. The rest of the songs on the regular edition are great and straight forward. Rondorf's lyrics bring Artillery into the 21st century and deal with elements of society that have developed since their departure, such as the internet and the pitfalls of celebrity.
I've been doing a lot of research into Artillery and it just seems they didn't get big because they didn't have any breaks. They released their demos which hit worldwide (and have since been repackaged as Deadly Relics), which secured them a record deal with a company that didn't do much to promote or produce the albums right, but the band still came through until the company went out of business. Their next break was for the By Inheritance album, which was under a major budget through Roadrunner records. Roadrunner was not a stable outfit and didn't promote the album very well. A shame because these guys taught Metallica a lot of their stuff back in 84. These guys had the potential to be BIG, but the record companies didn't care and didn't deliver what was promised. They soon disbanded and went their own ways.
In 98, Mightymusic brought them back together to remaster and repackage their demos, which led to the reformation of the Stutzer brothers and Flemming Ronsdorf. This led to the writing of BACK. They played one show at the 2000 Wacken metal festival, which is the world's largest heavy metal fest.
Artillery didn't officially disband, but they have been inactive. I have conflicting information, but the sources point to Artillery being over, but some still say they are working on an album. I think it wouldn't take much for them to pull it together one last time, if you have the right sources to convey the idea to them.
Back to the band, this is a highly essential piece of thrash metal history. Artillery was the lesser known innovator of what others were playing. Their albums are sadly near unavailable, but to those who can get them, you're in for a treat.
BACK doesn't seem to present the closure to the Artillery chapter one would think it would. I wouldn't be surprised if the older stuff was remastered in full with a new album. Time will tell.
on December 10, 2004
Artillery returned from the grave in 1999 with this excellent comeback album. I have to strongly disagree with the other guy who reviewed this album who said that Flemming Rasmussen's production killed the By Inheritance album. I think Rasmussen did a killer job and made By Inheritance sound heavy as hell, but that's just me. BACK is a very solid album which proves that Artillery will never sell out or suck. Every song on this album is great. The first 3 tracks sound allot like the songwriting on By Inheritance which happens to be my favortie Artillery album. BACK has an incredibly heavy thick production which sounds new and modern, yet still raw old and heavy. I really cant complain about anything on this album which is unusaul for a comeback album. It sounds as if no time has passed since 1990s By Inheritance. If you like the early Artillery albums, you will definitely like BACK. The band is working on another release for 2005, and I am positive they will continue their tradition of TRUE Thrash Metal!!!!
on December 4, 2003
I picked this one up on my travels in Copenhagen as I was a huge fan of Terror Squad. First up, the production is killer (after that Metallica producer killed their By Inheritence LP) and this is quality thrash played by quality thrash musos, but it just lacks something...
The first two songs are rifftastic, but then the riffs on the rest of the CD seem to be as 'feel/groove-less' as playing scales. Needs some chugga! Some ok songs though. Would probably have got 3-4 stars if not for the crap lyrics throughout and too many overdubs of Ronsdorf's vocals. His voice should be heard by itself, the overdubs and effects are just annoying. Drums are provided by Per M Jensen of The Haunted and man he can play.