Those Once Loyal
11/30/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal - 2005 - Metal Blade
After a four year absence Bolt Thrower pick up right where they left off, delivering top notch, genre leading material that is both traditional and enduring to the band's roots and future growth. They do what most bands feel is bad or somewhat "unfair", they simply stick to their guns and deliver the same sound that they have enjoyed for close to twenty years. It has worked thus far, establishing Bolt Thrower as one of the most successful death acts of all time. They have worked for their position on the ladder through dedication, hard work, and an internal intensity to strive for the gold, always putting it all on the line for their fans and for themselves. For that I applaud them. In the meantime we get quality releases like "Mercenary", "Warmaster", "For Victory", and now..."Those Once Loyal".
Once again the band finds themselves on Metal Blade Records, enjoying a seven year tenure with the label after spending five years with Earache. As time goes by the group continue to put out outstanding albums, each punctuated by the group's driving rhythm, guttural growls, and unique timing changes. Add in a large amount of fantastic lead work and you get a band worthy of being called a pioneer. Here fans of the band will find those same attributes, enhanced by groove oriented stomps like "The Killchain" and "Granite Wall". Fans of the speedy sensations will romp with opener "At First Light", as well as speedy rippers like "Last Stand Of Humanity". The group also throws in their occasional moody numbers, with the title track being a good representation of that particular facet of Bolt Thrower. Fans of the band should find the songwriting no surprise, each cut here wrapped up in tales of combat and war, with plenty of room for honor and tribute to the battlefield's fallen ones. The band went back to Sable Rose Studio in England to record this album, the same place that "Honour Valour Pride" was recorded. The group decided to have the same producer of the previous album, Andy Faulkner, turn the knobs for this effort as well.
Bottom Line - Bolt Thrower continue their legacy, with "Those Once Loyal", a monumental death metal album and one that will please long time fans of the band and encourage new faces to join their legions. A must have!
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