With death metal legends such as Bolt Thrower it is easy to expect that they will release another classic. Those Once Loyal is no different. It contains all the groovy riffs we have come to know and love from Bolt Thrower, along with Karl Willetts' crushing vocals and the war-heavy lyrical themes. The songs are well composed and the album is well put together.
The album starts off with the dreary wind sounds of a war torn battlefield, until the epic riffs of "At First Light" bursting in and announcing Bolt Thrower's presence. The album goes and does not let up after that. Not only are the riffs powerful but the bass is extra present on this album, so you can feel it gripping pace as the band drives on. This is especially noticed in the intro to "Anti Tank (Dead Armour)", where Jo Bench is given the spotlight.
Along with the previous tracks mentioned, there are plenty of other highlight tracks. "Granite Wall's" riff is downright menacing, and it progresses into a rapid fire guitar solo, while the rest of the song gives the impression of a tank speeding across a desert. "Salvo" has a great flow as it's opening riff and slow drums evolve into a rapid pace and pounding snare. The "Last Stand of Humanity" is exceptionally brutal, with powerful drum blast all in a short heavy piece suitable for any classic death metal album.
The only thing bad against the album is that sometimes the songs do sound similar. That being said Bolt Thrower's riffs and songs have always been similar sounding, and the formula still works. The album is still fresh material, and the band has stated that they will refuse to release material they feel is subpar. That is why this is currently the band's latest album for a while, as the band continues to tour. Hopefully Bolt Thrower becomes inspired down the road to release another great album. However, Those Once Loyal is an excellent parting gift in the meantime.