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ARTILLERY - Fear Of Tomorrow (12" Gatefold DOUBLE LP)

Denmark | Thrash
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Last copies on grey marbled vinyl!

After a hiatus of more than three decades, the inaugural studio album by the Danish thrash metal icons, Artillery, makes its triumphant return to the world of vinyl! This classic album, initially launched by NEAT Records (known for hosting bands like Venom and Raven), has undergone a meticulous remastering process and is now available as a double LP. Additionally, four bonus studio tracks have been included, offering fans the complete FEAR OF TOMORROW recording session in one comprehensive album for the very first time.

The deluxe package is a true collector's gem, featuring a beautifully designed gatefold jacket filled with a captivating array of photos, flyers, and other memorabilia from that era. Inside, you'll discover a two-sided insert that provides the full lyrics to complement this exceptional musical journey.

While not reaching the same level of recognition as the German pioneers and leaders of thrash metal, smaller metal scenes were flourishing across Europe. Many countries boasted a handful of bands that would secure record deals, potentially release a cult classic or two, and then fade into obscurity over the years. Holland and England managed to make some notable contributions to the genre, but Denmark was primarily known for its melodic heavy/power metal acts such as Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, and Pretty Maids. However, Denmark's thrash metal scene would experience a game-changing moment with the emergence of Artillery, one of the continent's greatest thrash acts. It would take a few years and some lineup changes, but Artillery was on the cusp of realizing its full potential.

Fear of Tomorrow represents the foundational elements that the Danes would refine in their masterpiece, By Inheritance. However, during the mid-1980s, the band hadn't yet achieved the same level of technicality and musicianship. They stood out in two significant ways: their more uplifting style of songwriting, which differed from the darker themes of comparable acts like Onslaught, Destruction, or Sodom, and the unique vocals of Flemming Ronsdorf. Ronsdorf's vocals were thicker and higher-pitched compared to the genre's typical style, resembling a rough power/speed metal approach reminiscent of Udo Dirkschneider or Kris Boltendahl, flavored with his distinct native accent. While this gave the music a charming and somewhat eccentric quality, Ronsdorf's voice possessed enough resonance to complement the dense, workmanlike guitars.

The debut album kicks off with some of the band's best early tracks, most of which were taken from their earlier demo of the same name released that year. "Time Has Come" starts with screams and gunfire, followed by a brief acoustic interlude and a barrage of intense thrash guitars underpinning haunting vocal melodies. Michael Stützer's lead guitar skills are showcased almost immediately, though his brother Morten handled bass duties for both this album and Terror Squad, impressing with his four-string prowess. The drums follow standard rock and metal rhythms with grooves, and Artillery demonstrated a noticeable influence from the classic, chunky riffing style of NWOBHM, which thrash was just emerging from at the time. "The Almighty" follows a similar pattern with wild guitar leads, memorable vocal lines, and a solid, mosh-inducing breakdown.

The intensity continues with "Show Your Hate," which features even more aggression, spikes of melody, and some of the most intricate and infectious speed riffing on the album. Ronsdorf's chorus of 'looser - it's time to kill/looser - show your...hate' is both charming and distinctive. The pace briefly slows with the introduction of "King, Thy Name is Slayer," followed by a more groove-heavy aggression. However, this track is an exception, as "Out of the Sky" and "Into the Universe" return to the band's enthusiastic thrash assault. "Fear of Tomorrow" itself is another highlight, offering an engaging and cautionary take on clichéd future paranoia, akin to the 80s Danish thrash equivalent of The Terminator, complete with a memorable chorus. While "The Eternal War" and "Deeds of Darkness" might not be as catchy as the rest of the album, they maintain a consistent quality throughout.

This was undeniably a strong and promising debut for Artillery, featuring a straightforward yet iconic cover image of a hooded figure wielding an imposing firearm. Although it may be my least favorite Artillery album, it still holds a special place among the cult favorites of the 1980s and foreshadows the band's transformation in the years to come.

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Denmark | Thrash




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