On Delhi-based mettalers Artillerie’s first full-length album the band has come a long way from its Lamb of God-clone beginnings. Eradefiled is a concept album that follows the story of the war, destruction and perhaps redemption of a mythical city Cerenia (and the band insist that the story, up on their blog, is an indispensable part of the album experience). And fittingly, the concept allows the band to unleash some restrained and polished brutality over the space of 40 minutes.
Opening with the now mandatory atmospheric intro track, the album dives into the practised aggression of ”˜Phalanx of Chaos’ and ”˜Temple of Zeus’ that have been the band’s flagship songs for over a year now. ”˜Hate Imbrued’ stacks thick slabs of riffs against interesting melodic sections and some unnecessary shred soloing. At around the time ”˜Tormentor’ comes along, the monotony of the sound begins to kick in a bit, with the guitar sound lacking enough dynamics to keep songs distinct from each other. But the band do manage to squeeze in plenty of interesting variations within the songs itself, that make more of an impression after a few listens. ”˜Uninhibited’ take a more melodic turn, with a few intriguing guitar counterpoints and vocalist Noble Luke breaking out some scream-singing in places. ”˜Lapse,’ though musically unremarkable, gives the album a much-needed break in the relentless assault of riffs but gets right back up to speed on ”˜Winter of Silence,’ closing with the faster paced ”˜Life to These Bones.’
While the band clearly wear their Meshuggah influence on their sleeves and vocalist Luke still has a way to go before completely breaking out of the Randy Blythe mould, Eradefiled is a major triumph for the band. The album has some of the best riffs ever heard on the Indian metal scene of late (hark the mindblowing riff around the one-minute mark on ”˜Phalanx of Chaos’) and its measured and contained violence should make these songs mosh-pit classics if the band can pull this off live. An absolutely redoubtable effort from a very promising band.
Key Tracks: ‘Phalanx of Chaos’, ‘Tormentor’