Steffen Jungersen


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Veteran Danish thrashers Artillery have not only made their best album so far – they may very well have come up with that rare commodity: The consummate Heavy Metal album

ARTILLERY, “Penalty By Perception”, (Metal Blade)

“What’s so fuckin’ precious about Heavy Metal anyway?”

Thus spake one irritated James Hetfield once when asked why Metallica to a certain extent had abandoned their metal roots on the “Load” album.

Well, monsieur Hetfield; I’ll tell you what’s so fuckin’ precious about Heavy Metal: When played well by musicians truly dedicated to the cause, HM scales unprecedented heights of musical emotion, perfection and throat grabbing power.

On a good day and maybe more importantly also on a bad day this music makes the listener feel invincible. It makes you take on yet another day and want to live it.

THAT is what makes Heavy Metal precious!

Enter and case in point: Danish thrash metal veterans Artillery and their masterful eigth album “Penalty By Perception”. Let’s not beat around the proverbial bush here because this album is quite simply that rarest of commodities; the consummate Heavy Metal album.

Yeah, it’s as close to perfect you can get and even if it’s early days yet I shouldn’t be surprised if “Penalty. . .” is going to have to slog it out with Megadeth’s “Dystopia” for the “metal album of the year” when 2016 draws to a close.

Artillery have really dragged out the – sorry! – heavy Artillery this time. The band’s roots may still be in thrash metal but really this album is so much more than that.

Apart from thrash and obvious influences like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, you’ll find hints of early Rainbow, Michael Schenker-era UFO, early Scorpions and even a bit of Thin Lizzy in here when you take it upon yourself to explore the twelve tracks.

And “Penalty By Perception” is worth the trip, believe me. The guitarwork - courtesy of brothers Michael and Morten Stützer – is worth the price of entry alone. The album is a treasure trove of intricate riffs, harmonies and fluent melodic solos (just listen to the brothers rip it up with Mercyful Fate legends Michael Denner and Hank Shermann who guest on “Cosmic Brain” - fucking priceless).

The rhythm work of bassist Peter Thorslund and Josua Madsen is flawless through out which only leaves amazingly versatile singer Michael Bastholm Dahl who really comes into his own on this record. From the sweetest whisper to the angriest roar, this man delivers!

I’m not gonna tell you to forget about early Artillery classics like “Terror Squad” and “By Inheritance”. I am however gonna tell you to wipe away the tears of nostalgia when you think about those records, ‘cause if you do you’ll realize that “Penalty Of Perception” is a way better disc than any of those so called classics.

This is a timeless classic Heavy Metal record and it’s got everything any red blooded fan of the genre could wish for. And it’s better than 98 percent of the dross that masquerades as metal out there today anyway.

So there!


Dagens Sang



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My life so common it disappears and sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.

_ Paul Simon

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