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Artillery, "By Inheritance" Album Review

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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By Inheritance Is a Very Underrated Thrash Metal Album

By Inheritance is more than just the first studio album by Denmark’s Artillery to enter the vast listening preferences list of this writer. It is also a more technical and more melodic album compared to the band’s 1985 debut Fear of Tomorrow. There are albums in the metal genre in which upon the very first listen you realize just how impressive they really are. By Inheritance is just one of those albums and for 1990, this is one of those albums that may be left out of the discussion or forgotten which is a shame because of the varied musical approach. For this album, the late Morten Stutzer switches to playing guitar and playing the bass guitar for this album is Peter Thorslund.

More Analysis About Why By Inheritance Is Such an Underrated Thrash Metal Album

The soloing may be very similar to that of Metallica in a way. I know, I brought those metal legends into this discussion. There is also a thrash metal version of Iron Maiden in this release hence, that’s why it is more melodic than their debut album. It is a real shame that I only began listening to Artillery’s music since the start of 2022 because they really are one of thrash metal’s finest bands. I got into this band’s music at least 20 years too late, realizing what I have missed. If any of you share this same sentiment, know that you are not alone in having such feelings. As the title track says, let’s just say that what is present on a gem of an album like this cannot ever be taken away from the members of Denmark’s Artillery and this album is forever to stay in the wonderful and glorious history of thrash metal. This is one of those metal album releases of the year 1990 that may go unnoticed and we are writing about this album to give credit for just how well written it is. This album should be a guitar player’s delight for how melodic it is.

By Inheritance Includes Influences Such As Iron Maiden

Stylistically as we dive even deeper into the analysis, you can think of By Inheritance as being an album that is similar to British thrash metal veterans Xentrix but much better. This was the last studio album released by Artillery prior to their first disbandment and this is the proper way to make what turned out to be an extended but temporary break up of sorts. THIS is the way to construct a thrash metal album especially heading into a new decade like these Danish guys were. By Inheritance is a wonderful display of progressive guitar parts, Iron Maiden style influenced melodies and thrash metal riffs. I know that I’ve only listened to two studio albums from these Danish thrash metal veterans and this one is clearly the better album of the two and more melodic.

"Khomaniac"

About the Songs In "By Inheritance"

Starting in the late 1980s and even a little after, many bands were experimenting musically and some of them were writing more melodic and technical albums and By Inheritance is one of those albums that succeeds on both fronts. This album is actually one of those that feels like a lightweight sort of listen because the songs don’t overwhelm your senses. We won’t even really discuss that there is a cover song on this album and instead we will analyze just the songs written by Artillery themselves.

Artillery’s debut album was one of those that fit in with the times and might as well be considered a warm-up sort of album leading to this one. The album begins in most melodic fashion with the short and exotic instrumental song “7:00 From Tashkent.” Following that short instrumental is the song “Khomaniac” which may be an eye opener for some listeners because of the lyrics. The lyrics of this song tell the story of the rise of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Revolution. The chorus of this song is spot on because the kind of movement that Khomeini led was a sort of holy war that led to the destruction of Iran and what led to the nation of Iran losing its status as a respected country. Politics aside, this is one of the best songs in the career of Artillery. The beginning of the second song is definitely similar to Iron Maiden because it sounds a little like the song “Fear is the Key” though not exactly. The point that is trying to be made here is that the beginning of Khomaniac is Iron Maiden influenced. It may even be one of those songs in which history lovers may even enjoy just based on the lyrics. By Inheritance released in 1990 may be the finest hour in the early years of Artillery and it should be on a Top 5 list of metal albums released in 1990! Other songs worthy of mention in this analysis include “Beneath the Clay R.I.P.” The song lyrically is basically about the fact that people go off to war and then there’s nothing that can be done to prevent what is ultimately going to result: death and being six feet deep. Flemming Ronsdorf proves that for this still early period in thrash metal history that his vocal range and style gives this album that dark feel which in this case is not a detriment but rather an asset for Artillery.

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Full Length Albums Released by Artillery

Year ReleasedAlbum Title

1985

Fear of Tomorrow

1987

Terror Squad

1990

By Inheritance

1999

B.A.C.K.

2009

When Death Comes

2011

My Blood

2013

Legions

2016

Penalty By Perception

2018

The Face of Fear

2021

X

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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