Bolt Thrower
War Master


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheNotrap USER (10 Reviews)
December 30th, 2011 | 56 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With "War Master" Bolt Thrower finally established their distinctive signature sound.

Formed in 1986, Bolt Thrower were one of the first extreme metal bands that emerged from England. Their first releases, The Peel Sessions, In Battle There Is No Law and especially Realm of Chaos, helped in establishing Bold Thrower as one of the most respectable and distinctive extreme metal bands of the late ΄80s.

Keeping the same line-up as in their previous effort, Realm of Chaos, Bolt Thrower released their highly anticipated 3rd album, War Master in February 1991. Whereas grindcore textures were still the prevailing element in the band's previous album, War Master evolves naturally towards a more "classic" and refined death metal sound. However, the distinctive signature elements of previous records, namely Karl Willetts's powerful grunting vocals and the intense guitar riffs, remain intact.

Bolt Thrower's refined formula is immediately recognizable on the opening track "Intro... Unleashed (Upon Mankind)", a song that brilliantly combines doom oriented atmospheres with mid and up-tempo sections. The track that follows, "What Dwells Within", starts with an epic riff, followed by an impressive and powerful vocal entrance by the inimitable Karl Willetts. After the first two songs, the listener easily understands that "War Master" is a different creature from "Realm of Chaos". Regarding the songwriting, although it feels slightly repetitive, it is carefully arranged now, while it focuses on building different but coherent dynamics within the songs and canalizing more effectively the aggressiveness of previous releases. Colin Richardson's effective production and sound engineering also helps the band in finally establishing its distinctive signature sound. This well sensed balance with respect to sound and arrangements, continues throughout the album with songs such as "The Shreds of Sanity", "War Master", "Afterlife" or the epic "Cenotaph", a thematic and musical continuation of the previous classic "World Eater". As it becomes evident from the song titles, "War Master" is lyrically focused on all aspects of human warfare, continuing the established tradition of previous releases.

Despite the slightly repetitive songwriting, "War Master" remains an excellent effort, based on interesting musical performance from a band that finally found its identity. As for the album itself, it still remains one of the most respectable death-metal albums ever released.

Pros:
What Dwells Within and Cenotaph
Karl Willetts performance
Colin Richardson’s sound engineering


Cons:
Slightly repetitive songwriting



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user ratings (173)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
December 30th 2011


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Guys I hope you like this Bolt Thrower review.

If you don’t know this band or this particular album if you wish take a look:

Cenotaph
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxMJDTJXleI

What Dwells Within
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5hbeB5OQi8

I also want to thank Voivod for his help on the grammar and text structures.
English is not my first language so his help was, once again, precious.

Digging: Threshold - For The Journey

TheNotrap
December 30th 2011


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Some additional info:

War Master’s cover art work was produced by Games Workshop.

Jo Bench, Bolt Thrower’s bass player, is generally considered to be among the earliest female members of an extreme metal band.

Their early demo “Concession of Pain” was sent to the legendary radio DJ John Peel that almost immediately offered them a radio session. Their “Peel Session” EP, released in January 1988, was enough to get them their first record contract.


Megadeth
December 30th 2011


935 Comments


prob my fav bolt

Wizard
December 30th 2011


19444 Comments


Good review, still need to do a run-through of Bolt Throwers discography.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

DetJohnKimble
December 30th 2011


83 Comments


Definitely one of my fav DM bands and this was where they started really developing their sound. Nice concise review as well btw.
As a point of interest for those inclined there are still ticks available for their anniversary show in london (not really any publicity about it surprisingly!)
http://www.boltthrower.com/news/news.php



TheNotrap
December 30th 2011


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@Megadeth
Same here, along with ...For Victory and Those Once Loyal.

@Wizard
Thanks. Do it asap Wizard, this band released several great albums.

@DetJohnKimble
Thanks. I'm aware of their anniversary show. Unfortunately I can't be there.



Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2011


16410 Comments


I like Realm of Chaos and Those Once Loyal better but this still rules... I mean it is a Bolt Thrower
album after all.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2011


6149 Comments


...For Victory

m/

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

ValeriusTheImmortal
December 30th 2011


1237 Comments


nice, man.

Jo Bench rules

TheNotrap
December 30th 2011


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Indeed. Jo rules hard.
m/


Poet
December 30th 2011


5935 Comments


"Cons:
Slightly repetitive songwriting"

I don't think that's a bad thing.

ValeriusTheImmortal
December 30th 2011


1237 Comments


Jo makes me hard

BOOIIIOOIOIOIOING

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2011


18524 Comments


gonna go play warhammer now blast some bolt thrower

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

BallsToTheWall
December 30th 2011


44482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Much needed review. Auto pos.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

ShadowRemains
December 30th 2011


20847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuckin riffffffffs

Twiddlebop
December 30th 2011


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wanted to review this but you pretty much said what I would've. Pos.

One small correction though, if I may;
"With "War Master" Bolt Thrower, finally established their distinctive signature sound."

The comma should be after War Master, no?

YUJOS
December 30th 2011


926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Unfortunately. the bad production in War Master "destroys" the overall quality of the songs.

Digging: Misery Index - The Killing Gods

Megadeth
December 30th 2011


935 Comments


are you fucking joking

YUJOS
December 30th 2011


926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Megadeth : No i 'm not.

Megadeth
December 30th 2011


935 Comments


damn dude you are pretty gay



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