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Danish thrash legends Artillery return in 2016 alive and as powerful as ever! Originally formed in 1982, having experienced many ups and downs after folding in 1991, they officially regrouped in 2007 to continue their quest delivering a brand of metal to the masses that should quench the bloody thirst of all.

Michael Bastholm Dahl returns on vocals, the Stutzer Bros., Michael and Morten, man guitars, as Peter Thorslund wraps on the bass and Josua Madsen crushes drums. This combination brings us the follow up album to 2014’s ‘Legion’, which offers merciless riffs with fantastic duelling solos and continues to perfect their new sound. Is their newest work absolutely perfect? I’m not sure about that, but let’s jump right into a listening of ‘Penalty of Perception’!

‘In Defiance of Conformity’ jumps into an acoustic climbing riff with thunder booming just over the horizon. Then we jettison into quick guitars and up tempo banging drums. Bastholm then welcomes us into the opening track with fine lyrics and a fantastic voice that complements the overall sound of this album and Artillery as a whole. ‘Live by the Scythe’ opens with such a terrific duelling guitars spot that it instantly sucks you into the track. The rest is really good, but fails to build up to the crazy good intro.

Our title track delivers a powerful beat with a direr theme, which then quickly jumps into a monster theme and features great vocals. ‘Mercy of Ignorance’ kicks things off with a nice bassline and progresses into edgy strings that have become a theme for this release. I love the range in which the vocals reach in this one at the climax of the chorus. Excellent stuff, for sure! ‘Rites of War’ continues speedy momentum with seasoned rhythm and powerful chords, which leads into an interested ambiance with ‘Sin of Innocence’ that fits right in with the overall theme of ‘Penalty by Perception’.

‘When the Magic is Gone’ has the first true change of pace found on this release. A fairly strong ballad with an excellent chorus. I really liked the tone of this piece as it shows a nice sampling of how much more there is to Artillery. ‘Cosmic Brain’, ‘Diety Machine’ and ‘Path of the Atheist’ drive us towards the end of this release, cementing our expectations with aggressive guitar riffs and chaotic drums. ‘Athiest’ has more of a marching beat than the aforementioned tracks, with an almost mid-80s Metallica sound that brings about a need to head bang! Finishing off, we have ‘Welcome to the Mindfactory’ that opens with an incredible mix of quick drums and speedy crunch guitars, eventually transitioning into a terrific conclusion to this release.

Overall, I feel that this release is an authentic piece of work that oozes polish, as it shows how experience prevails in a time when proven metal bands could really use an injection into today’s industry.
Metal Blade
Review by Joshua Jaeger
25th March 2016
1) In Defiance of Conformity
2) Live by the Scythe
3) Penalty by Perception
4) Mercy of Ignorance
5) Rites of War
6) Sin of Innocence
7) When the Magic is Gone
8) Cosmic Brain
9) Deity Machine
10) Path of the Atheist
11) Welcome to the Mindfactory
"...this release is an authentic piece of work that oozes polish, as it shows how experience prevails in a time when proven metal bands could really use an injection into today’s industry."