ARTILLERY — Penalty By Perception (review)

ARTILLERY — Penalty By Perception album cover Album · 2016 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Penalty By Perception" is the 8th full-length studio album by Danish thrash metal act Artillery. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in March 2016. "Penalty By Perception" features the same lineup who recorded "Legions (2013)", making the album the second release to feature the performances of lead vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl and drummer Josua Madsen. The rest of the lineup are Morten Stützer (guitars), Michael Stützer (guitars), and Peter Thorslund (bass).

Stylistically "Penalty By Perception" pretty much continues the thrash metal/US power metal style of "Legions (2013)". Artillery has always been labelled thrash metal, which to some extent is true enough, but they´ve always had lead vocalists who could actually sing, and who added enough melody to the predominantly thrash metal oriented instrumental part of the music, to make Artillery balance somewhere between technically well played thrash metal and US power metal. Exactly the same is the case here, where Artillery as always churn out one well played, memorable, and powerful riff after another, while lead vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl adds a US power metal touch to the material.

Dahl is a skilled vocalist with a strong voice and a convincing delivery, but he doesn´t have a very distinct sounding voice. You can´t really fault him for the voice he was born with, and that´s not really my agenda here, but to my ears a more unique sounding vocalist could have lifted the music to a higher level. His best performance here is when he sings most melodic on the most quiet part of "When The Magic Is Gone". The instrumental part of the music is skillfully executed, and in addition to sharp thrashy riffing and well played guitar solos, the rhythm section play organic and tight.

Other than "When The Magic Is Gone" which brings a bit of variation to the 11 track, 53:40 minutes long album, the remaining tracks are pretty consistent in style and quality. The sound production is powerful, detailed, and clear too, so all in all "Penalty By Perception" is another strong album release by Artillery. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
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