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Hail Of Bullets: III: The Rommel Chronicles

Dutch death metal master gets his war face on

Three albums in, these Dutch heavyweights are very much a band in their own right and we don’t really need to mention their admittedly illustrious pedigree. Most death metal fans ought to be familiar with them by now. For 25 years, Martin van Drunen’s sandpaper tonsils have provided a distinctive rasp to such legends as Pestilence, Asphyx and Bolt Thrower.

Indeed, it is the latter that provides the most obvious reference point for what Hail Of Bullets are doing, not least due to a shared obsession with the world of combat and battles. But as its title implies, The Rommel Chronicles once again finds them focusing specifically on WWII.

HOB are in no real hurry, knowing that their steel-plated, caterpillar-tracked riffage is nigh-on unstoppable. Tracks such as Tobruk and The Final Front bring to mind the aforementioned Asphyx and Bolt Thrower, as well as Grave and Autopsy. Not that this is just an exercise in cosy nostalgia. With the quality of songwriting on display, it’s not so much old school as simply and laudably timeless.