Monday, May 26, 2014

Ambush - Firestorm

So traditional heavy metal is making a come back. Yeah, I know, it never left. What makes this new crop of heavy metal bands different is that fact that they not only is their music reminiscent of the early 80s but he finished products actually sound like they were produced in 1984. Sweden has produced two of my favorite bands of this movement, Enforcer and Screamer. Now we can add Ambush to that list of Swedish bands that take me back to my youth when heavy metal was taking form creating it's own identity and not just an offshoot of hard rock. This album reminds me of my high school days and makes me remember what made me fall in love with heavy metal to begin with.

The band was formed in 2013 and has released their debut album called Firestorm and they could not have picked a better title because this is truly a firestorm of balls to the wall traditional heavy metal. The band's influences are easy to see as they take from Judas Priest and Accept all the while adding their own identity. Yeah, there are some major cliches here but that's the beauty of it all. They come out firing from both barrels with the title track. A fast headbanging track that reminds me of both of the aforementioned bands. At times the vocalist has an old Halford vibe to him but it's not a ripoff (*cough Ralf Scheepers cough*). The song is loaded with trad metal riffs and hooks with a chorus that is catchy all the while adding in the "gang" backing vocals. The solos are what you would expect, blazing and somewhat technical. This is your typical heavy metal album opener and it just takes me back. This is heavy fucking metal at it's finest. No, there is nothing original or earth shattering going on here just well written heavy metal songs that take me back to the old days.

These guys write good catchy songs and I guess that's what makes them stand out from other bands that are emerging doing the same things these days. "Hellbound" is another catchy song that sees vocalist Oskar Jacobsson going in Halford territory and doing it well. He can hit some serious high notes. A mid paced number, the song itself kinda reminds of an old Saxon song. In contrast, the next song, "Don't Shoot (Let 'Em Burn)," is almost a speed metal song that is riff laden with soaring vocals and another amazing solo. The guitar work on this album is absolutely brilliant. Not overly technical or with too much wankery going on but instead used to complement the song. The main riff as well as the "gang" vocals in the chorus of "Molotov Cocktail" reminds me so much of Accept but with enough of it's own identity to be a song that actually pays homage to their influences. And for them to be able to do that but at the same time write songs that are catchy as fuck makes this album that much more enjoyable. The chorus and backing vocals on "Natural Born Killers" is actually worth getting this album in and of itself! Another song where everything just fits together perfectly.

I can listen to this album over and over again all the while reminiscing about the old days. Even the album's length is a throwback being only thirty-seven and a half minutes, about the average time for any metal album from 30 years ago. This band and album is much more than a throw back. Any band can be a throw back band but to do it while creating songs that are good and catchy is a sign of a band that is serious about heavy metal. Everything I love about metal is packaged in this album. This is a young band that is full of energy and I'm excited to see what they bring to the table in the future. If you love heavy metal at all then this album is essential.


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