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Hail of Bullets
III: The Rommel Chronicles
Released: 2013, Metal Blade Records
Dependable death metal veterans Hail of Bullets returned last year with their third full-length album. The guys have been busy since forming in 2006, with 2 previous albums and an EP to their credit, all of which were well-received by the death metal faithful.
If Hail of Bullets is about one thing, it’s hard-charging, death metal based on World War II, and THE ROMMEL CHRONICLES certainly delivers that. Fans of the band’s first two releases will instantly feel right at home with this one too. Still focused on World War II, this album is a concept album based on the exploits of renowned German General, Erwin Rommel. His storied, questionable career is fodder for all of the songs’ lyrics and van Drunen brings them all to life with his well-known growl. The music itself follows the same relentless tank-like riffing of the band’s previous efforts, but they are so good at what they do that more of the same is just fine with me. In fact, “Swoop of the Falcon” may just be the perfect war metal song. The old-school death metal that these guys bring is just too good to be denied.
Having said that, as much as I enjoy cranking the volume on this album, I find that many of the riffs and progressions don’t stick with me for very long after it’s over. There isn’t a single bad song here, but nothing that I would put in my top 25 songs of 2013 either. I’m definitely a fan of these guys, and hopefully next time they’ll firmly knock me on my ass. Even so, old-school death metal fans can buy this with confidence.
1. Swoop of the Falcon
2. Pour Le Merite
4. To the Last Breath of Man and Beast
6. The Desert Fox
8. Farewell to Africa
9. The Final Front
10. Death of a Field Marshal
Martin van Drunen: Vocals
Paul Baayens: Guitar
Stephan Gebedi: Guitar
Theo van Eekelen: Bass
Ed Warby: Drums
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