Bolt Thrower
Those Once Loyal


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nate B. USER (10 Reviews)
October 12th, 2007 | 261 replies | 22,993 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid, worthwhile effort from one of death metal’s most consistent forces.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Bolt Thrower is the definition of consistency. They have barely changed their sound since Warmaster (their demos and full-length debut were different from what they have become known for), but have still managed to create some of the most crushing metal that manages to separate itself from the pack in many ways. If you’re wondering how exactly they go about accomplishing such a task, let me just say this: there isn’t a single blastbeat on this entire album.

The riffs on the album can be described as death metal with deep roots in thrash that are as upbeat as classic NWOBHM. Many of the thrashier riffs are accompanied by steady double-bass and are extremely catchy while still managing to be heavy as hell. As soon as the short sample (?I can’t really tell if it’s a sample or something the band recorded) on the first track is over and the song starts, you’ll be tempted to bang your head even if you’ve never done so before. Trust me.

Every band member gets an equal share of the attention; every instrument (bass included) is audible at all times. The riffs, licks and solos are all very well placed and well executed; these guys don’t have technicality on their mind when they’re writing, every riff and solo on the album has substance and purpose; this is some superb songwriting. None of the songs are repetitive but still manage to have highly memorable individual riffs (something that is difficult to do without driving the same one into your ears over and over), and there’s a good enough amount of variation between the tracks to allow for each song to be able to be told apart from the next.

These guys create some awesome disjointed rhythms that fit very well together, perfectly balanced out by balls to the wall thrash riffs, as well as some melodic moments and solos. The bass is very well played with some creative licks that deviate from the rhythms while managing to sound like it fits perfectly with the riff it’s accompanying. The drumming is never excessive (as mentioned before, there are no blastbeats on this album) and flows along nicely with the songs with a good deal of variation.

The clear production does a lot for the album as well. It’s obvious that they weren’t going for the somewhat raw, crunchy sound found on some of their other albums, and instead wanted every note played to be heard perfectly, which plays a small part in making the album so memorable and easy to digest.

The lyrics are fairly clearly pronounced by the deep guttural growl of Karl Willetts (who rejoined the band for this album after their previous vocalist left), and tell a fairly interesting “story” (if you want to call it that) about World War I, continuing the band’s tradition of war-themed lyrics.

Overall, Those Once Loyal is a worthy addition to Bolt Thrower’s catalogue that is enjoyable from start to finish. I don’t just recommend this album to death metal fans, but to fans of any metal genre.

Pros
+Upbeat, catchy, memorable
+Solid vocals
+Very good songwriting
+Great, crushing riffs
+Audible/well played bass
+Great Production

Cons
-Thrash riffs could bore some
-It’s not all that different from the rest of their catalogue

Recommended Tracks
At First Light
Those Once Loyal
When Cannons Fade

FINAL RATING: 3.5/5



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user ratings (301)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
masscows
October 12th 2007



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is really good. Comments and votes welcome.

Zoo
October 12th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, well, well. I have always heard about these guys but haven't checked them out until now. I am a thrash fiend and their myspace tracks are highly headbangable. I especially like the vocals. I'll definitely look into this. Nice review, although I disagree wit the first "Con". Thrash riffs are never boring. ;)

Tyler
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

***-pounding

ass pounding? Er..you should change that.
Not sure why you used "-" in place of longer dashes (or --) and semicolons. Kind of weird...and improper Anyways, the review was kind of vague. You basically spent three paragraphs talking about the riffs. I'd beef it up and please, fix up the punctuation. It's really tedious to read.
I'll end up pos'ing eventually, but yeah. The random hyphens are weird.

masscows
October 12th 2007



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I just realized that the entire review was about riffs. I'll clean/beef it up in a little bit.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And toss some of the hyphens out for semi-colons.
i love this album, it really does make me want to headbang. your review and personal ratings don't match either.

jrowa001
October 12th 2007



8750 Comments


great review, ive heard Bolt Thrower's name get thrown around a lot but i have never checked them out. if they can make Cocaine headbang then i better hurry up and get this

masscows
October 12th 2007



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know they're different, I just didn't feel like this album deserved more than a 3.5 on a professional level due to the fact that it's too similar to their other stuff.

Doesn't mean I can't love it!

Tyler
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just didn't feel like this album deserved more than a 3.5 on a professional level due to the fact that it's too similar to their other stuff.

Eh, I know the feeling. Personally, rating albums for me is nearly impossible to do, which is why my ratings are pretty inconsistent. I was just wondering .

masscows
October 12th 2007



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cleaned up (although some of my semicolons may be out of place) and added a little bit/fixed some awkward sentences.

Might be worthy of being Cocainified now.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

seems fine. just a couple things (im bored so im extra nitpicky, take everything with a salty grain

Over the years, they have barely changed their sound since Warmaster (their demos and full-length debut were different from what they have become known for), but have still managed to create some of the most crushing metal that manages to separate itself from the pack in many ways.

Kind of a weird sentence. You could just as easily say They've barely changed since Warmaster. The "but have still managed" could use a "they", as well. Seems like there's a lot of words in that chunk that could stand to go.
you’ll be tempted to bang your head even if you’ve never done so before; trust me.

You could put "Trust me" as it's own sentence if you wanted. It might be more substantial that way.
weren’t going for the somewhat raw, crunchy

This is just my opinion but I think it's got a pretty crunchy low-end. Like I said, however, this is just my opinion.

Yeah I'll vote. You can ignore my above criticisms if you want, I just felt like picking at the review (and dont take that personally, hah).This Message Edited On 10.12.07

masscows
October 12th 2007



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll change all of those. I looked at the first one you pointed out and thought it was a little redundant when I was going through it again. Thanks.

edit: aside from the thing about the production. It seems very clear to me, idk.This Message Edited On 10.12.07

gasmaskman
October 12th 2007



1006 Comments


"there isn't a single blast beat..."

Hmm, reminds me a lot of 6ft Under.

masscows
October 12th 2007



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell no. This is nothing like sfu.

Malfeitor
July 10th 2008



17 Comments


Good review. I actually liked this album and nothing else post-War Master has really done anything for me. I agree with everything you said, except I wouldn't really compare it to Immolation.

FistfulOfSteel
February 16th 2009



894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rapes

rasputin
February 18th 2009



14540 Comments


AT
FIRST
LIIIIIIGHT

DN DNUNDNDN DUDN DNNN DUUU DNNN DNN

BallsToTheWall
February 18th 2009



44196 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Bolt Thrower rapes. Anything, any time, any place.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

masterofcum
February 18th 2009



428 Comments


nah

BallsToTheWall
February 18th 2009



44196 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Looks like somebodys gonna be raped by Bolt Thrower in his sleep tonight.

masterofcum
February 18th 2009



428 Comments


or her sleep



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