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One of Britain's most consistent and enduring death metal bands, Coventry's Bolt Thrower has weathered the best and worst of times in the genre's history without giving in to commercial temptations or altering its sound. The fact that they were unusually blessed with a steady lineup throughout much of their career contributed to this stability, and though they were rarely bestowed much praise for their efforts, Bolt Thrower gradually established itself as one of the best death metal bands ever to emerge from England.

Taking their name from a weapon in one of their favorite tabletop miniatures games, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, they drafted vocalist Alan West, guitarist Barry Thompson, and bassist Jo Bench (one of the first female musicians to take part in an extreme metal group of any sort) to complete the lineup. True to their name, Bolt Thrower dedicated their career to analyzing and dissecting all aspects of
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BOLT THROWER Discography

BOLT THROWER albums / top albums

BOLT THROWER In Battle There Is No Law album cover 3.48 | 16 ratings
In Battle There Is No Law
Death Metal 1988
BOLT THROWER Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness album cover 3.68 | 23 ratings
Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness
Death Metal 1989
BOLT THROWER War Master album cover 3.59 | 24 ratings
War Master
Death Metal 1991
BOLT THROWER The IVth Crusade album cover 4.11 | 31 ratings
The IVth Crusade
Death Metal 1992
BOLT THROWER ...For Victory album cover 4.08 | 28 ratings
...For Victory
Death Metal 1994
BOLT THROWER Mercenary album cover 4.27 | 20 ratings
Death Metal 1998
BOLT THROWER Honour - Valour - Pride album cover 4.28 | 19 ratings
Honour - Valour - Pride
Death Metal 2001
BOLT THROWER Those Once Loyal album cover 4.10 | 43 ratings
Those Once Loyal
Death Metal 2005


BOLT THROWER The Peel Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Peel Sessions
Death Metal 1988
BOLT THROWER Cenotaph album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Death Metal 1991
BOLT THROWER Spearhead album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Death Metal 1992

BOLT THROWER live albums

BOLT THROWER Live War album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live War
Death Metal 2010

BOLT THROWER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BOLT THROWER Rehearsal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death Metal 1986
BOLT THROWER Concession of Pain album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Concession of Pain
Death Metal 1987
BOLT THROWER In Battle There Is No Law album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Battle There Is No Law
Death Metal 1987
BOLT THROWER Forgotten Existence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Forgotten Existence
Death Metal 1988
BOLT THROWER Prophets of Hell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Prophets of Hell
Death Metal 1988
BOLT THROWER Polka Slam / Crisis Point album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Polka Slam / Crisis Point
Death Metal 1989

BOLT THROWER re-issues & compilations

BOLT THROWER The Peel Sessions 1988-90 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Peel Sessions 1988-90
Death Metal 1991
BOLT THROWER Who Dares Wins album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Who Dares Wins
Death Metal 1998
BOLT THROWER Eternal War album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eternal War
Death Metal 2014
BOLT THROWER The Best of Bolt Thrower album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Bolt Thrower
Death Metal 2016

BOLT THROWER singles (0)

BOLT THROWER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


BOLT THROWER ...For Victory

Album · 1994 · Death Metal
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Once you get to Bolt Thrower’s 5th album “…For Victory”, there’s not much left to say. Bolt Thrower are one of those bands guilty of writing the same song and putting out the same album over and over. And the song happens to be really good.

The album is scarily consistent, throwing out one riff monster after the next. Each song has a decent variety of speedier aggressive parts and crushing slower/midtempo sections. As always, there’s a very martial atmosphere here, and the dense, rhythmic song structures feel like an enemy invasion. The vocals are fantastic as always, a deep roar that is quite intelligible, like a demonic commander calling out orders. The lyrics here are a bit more realistic than before, and evocative of the more serious catastrophes of war.

If you’ve heard one Bolt Thrower album, you’ve just about heard ‘em all. But when they’re this good, who’s complaining? I’ve got 9 more cuts of Death Metal greatness to add to my forever playlist.


Album · 1992 · Death Metal
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"The IVth Crusade" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK death metal act Bolt Thrower. The album was released through Earache Records in September 1992. It´s the successor to "War Master" from 1991. Both "Realm of Chaos (1989)" and "War Master (1991)" helped put Bolt Thrower on the map and made them one of the most prolific death metal acts on the UK scene of the late 80s/early 90s. "The IVth Crusade" further strengthened their position and ultimately was a great artistic and commercial success for the band (in underground terms of course).

"The IVth Crusade" is where Bolt Thrower really came into their own. The first three albums are quite different in sound and style, and in retrospect it´s obvious that the band worked hard on creating their own distinct sound on the early releases. "War Master (1991)" came close, but it´s on "The IVth Crusade" that Bolt Thrower found the right combination of ultra heavy mid-paced riffs and rhythms, deep growling vocals, and war themed lyrics, paired with a powerful and raw sound production, which works perfectly with the material.

The 11 tracks on the 53:30 minutes long album are all consistent in quality and style. The only track which is different from the rest is the closing track "Through the Ages", which features spoken words instead of growling vocals, with Karl Willetts reciting names and years of different wars. So it´s an album where it´s difficult to mention highlights, but the epic opening to the title track is always a winner. "Celestial Sanctuary" could also be mentioned as a standout track, because of the melodic chorus and the catchy vocal lines during that chorus. A bit more variation between tracks could generally have made the album a more interesting listening experience, but it´s not a major issue.

"The IVth Crusade" is upon conclusion the next natural step in Bolt Thrower´s career and overall a quality old school death metal release. As mentioned above a bit more variation could have made it even better, but as it is it´s still a quality release and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.


Album · 1992 · Death Metal
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Bolt Thrower has been putting out Death Metal since the very early days of the genre, and though the debut was a bit rough, all of their releases have had a very consistent level of quality without doing anything too dangerous. Insanely heavy, crunchy guitars and classic OSDM riffage is the name of their game and they win every time.

The IVth Crusade is to Bolt Thrower as South of Heaven was to Slayer. The band slows down a bit, even including a few tracks that could qualify as Death Doom (except it just sounds like slow Death Metal), and focus a bit more on melody. That’s not to say this album isn’t packed with energy though, as many of the tracks are still loaded with double bass drumming and tremolo riffs.

There’s very martial feel to this album. Bolt Thrower has always written about war and battle, but the mid-tempo pace and march-like rhythm section really seals the atmosphere here. Again, this album isn’t doing anything new, it’s just executing OSDM incredibly well, and makes for an awesome listen front to back. Couldn’t ask for more from this legendary band.

BOLT THROWER Those Once Loyal

Album · 2005 · Death Metal
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Bolt Thrower have a few albums listed in the MMA top 20 death metal albums, and as they showed up in my searches on YouTube I thought I should try them out. But how does one pick out the best album for one’s own preferences when there are eight albums from which to choose? YouTube has the answer with most if not all albums available in full for listening preview. Still, a preview is not the same as sinking into a purchased record.

Reading the Wikipedia article on the band, Bolt Thrower planned to cease recording after this album because they felt that they had finally made the best Bolt Thrower album. There was talk of recording another album after a hiatus but the band ceased in an untimely manner when their drummer passed away. I was trying to decide which album to get, “Those Once Loyal” or “Mercenary”, and ended up deciding on the former.

As far as death metal albums go, my experience is only just at the newbie level, but I feel that much of the music here is closer to thrash metal. It’s not as technical or brutal as death metal can be and it’s not as melodic as it can be either. Though double kick drumming is freely employed, the snare beats are not that fast and I don’t recall noticing any blast beats. Except for the deep, bear-like vocals, I feel the music sounds more like some of the late eighties thrash metal I used to listen to. At times there are some killer, slow n heavy riffs as in “The Killchain” and “Last Stand of Humanity”, which make these songs stand out for me. But most of the album reminds me a lot of early Slayer, or at least it make me feel like listening to “Haunting the Chapel”for some reason.

While this may be Bolt Thrower’s magnum opus, I feel it’s just a very good album that can be played all the way through with two tracks worthy of adding to a playlist. The album is consistent and heavy, though lacking much variation. Maybe it’s a good introductory album to the band? I like it but at the same time I want to hear more adventurousness. A decent piece of work for straightforward heavy thrash with death undertones.

BOLT THROWER Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness

Album · 1989 · Death Metal
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Vim Fuego
This is one of the heaviest albums ever recorded. The guitars are tuned down to bass frequencies. In the recording of this album, the bass was tuned down so far at one point the strings would not vibrate. Even Karl Willett's vocals have been electronically lowered by a harmonizer. The result is an album of subterranean, subsonic depth.

Despite the enormous sound Bolt Thrower produce, their riffs always remain clear, and the drums snappy. There is double kick bass abuse throughout the album, one of Bolt Thrower's trademarks. The songs are catchy, and have an almost sing–a–long quality, unusual for the grindcore genre. “World Eater” and the title track standing out as classic tracks from the album, and it is not unusual to find yourself growling along, Willett–style, hours after hearing these songs.

The subject matter is the Bolt Thrower staple– war, well embellished by amazing artwork from the Games Workshop. This was Bolt Thrower's last grindcore release before they strayed toward the death metal stylings of their subsequent albums. This album is a landmark for extreme music. At a time when Carcass, Napalm Death, Righteous Pigs, Terrorizer, and Extreme Noise Terror were noisily trying to break the speed of sound, only Bolt Thrower and Godflesh were truly exploring the sonic possibilities of creating massive walls of sound, rather than being noisy.

There should be a picture of this album under the definition of "heavy" in the dictionary.

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