Artillery

Fear of Tomorrow

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After making quite a name for themselves in tape-trading circles as one of Europe's most promising early thrash metal bands, Denmark's Artillery faced the challenge of matching the raw power and wild intensity of their demos with their first album proper. Fans needn't have worried about 1985's Fear of Tomorrow, however, for, even though the quintet's somewhat inconsistent songwriting couldn't keep listeners riveted at all times, their instrumental abilities at such high speeds still sounded quite phenomenal for the mid-'80s, and the distinctively varied style of singer Flemming Ronsdorf provided a highlight in itself. His wailing falsetto was common enough for the era, but when combined with a lower, gravelly growl, somewhere between AC/DC's Bon Scott and Accept's Udo Dirkschneider, it would become Artillery's most recognizable asset. And when backed up with the aforementioned, adrenalized technique of his bandmates (and particularly the high flying six-string heroics of Michael Stytzer and Jorgen Sandau), songs like "The Almighty," "Show Your Hate," and "Out of the Sky" represented the crème de la crème of European thrash in 1985. Yes, American thrash cues were almost inevitable, as well (see the "Seek & Destroy"-style towards the end of the semi-epic "Deeds of Darkness"), but alongside the simultaneously burgeoning German contingent (Kreator, Helloween, et al), Fear of Tomorrow saw Artillery contributing to a decisively European brand of thrash.

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