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Warsaw Rising
(Metal Blade Records)

"Warsaw Rising" is the second release from HAIL OF BULLETS (well, actually it's already the 3rd if you count their promo EP debut - Frank), the Death Metal super-group that contains members of THANATOS, GOREFEST and the mighty ASPHYX. Containing a mix of newly recorded tracks and live tracks, "Warsaw Rising" is as crushing a release as you'd expect from members of the aforementioned bands. Opener, and title track 'Warsaw Rising', sets the tone for the entire EP; sounding like the love child of SLAYER and GRAVE, it grabs the listener by the throat and gives him a good throttling! The part where the solo kicks is excellently worked in and catches the listener's attention every time they hear it. 'Liberators' is a showcase in how to create a sense of dread and despair using guitar melodies and octave chords; the opening always makes me imagine a scene of desolate street reduced to nothing but destruction and waste. Guitarists Paul Baayens and Stephan Gebédi really put on a master class on how to create atmosphere in this song. The rest of the song is filled with crushing, mid tempo riffs before singer Martin van Drunen call of 'BOMBS AWAY!' leads us into a Thrash section that will have heads banging and wind-milling all over the place. 'Destroyer' is the weakest track in my opinion. I tried to like it but I just found the main riff to be too weak to carry the entire song and found my attention always waning while listening to it. Perhaps a bit more double kick behind it would have helped but the song just didn't really do anything for me (maybe because it's a TWISTED SISTER cover and not really a HAIL OF BULLETS song? - Frank). Musically, every member is on top form; Martin Van Drunen's vocals are as powerful and distinctive as always, drummer Ed Warby keeps everything held together with some great, tight playing; particularly on the title track, on which his playing reminded me alot of Dave Lombardo. Guitarists Paul Baayens and Stephan Gebédi have a great tone and the solos are blistering and never over the top or thrown in for the sake of it; the solo in 'Warsaw Rising' is probably the highlight of the track for me. Moving onto the live tracks (recorded at the Party.San Festival - Frank), the first thing that struck me about them was there quality. With most live tracks I have become accustomed to hearing a wall of static sound but here every note is perfectly audible; particularly the drums. Each of the tracks, 'Red Wolves Of Stalin' (which was my favourite of the live tracks), 'Nachthexen' and 'The Crucial Offensive' go down a treat live and the crowd really seem to be enjoying themselves as they are heard roaring their approval throughout. 'Warsaw Rising' is a little on the short side but is sure to please all fans of brutal Death Metal and is a well worth checking out. For more on HAIL OF BULLETS check out and

Norman McCann

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