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Review of the Album "Fear of Tomorrow," the Debut Album from Denmark’s Thrash Metal Band Artillery

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

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Basic Details About "Fear of Tomorrow"

Genre: thrash metal

Country of origin: Denmark

Length: a little over 41 minutes

Band members that play on this album are:

  • Flemming Ronsdorf: all vocals
  • Michael Stutzer: lead guitars
  • Jorgen Sandau: rhythm guitars
  • Morten Stutzer – brother of Michael (1962-2019) bass guitars
  • Carsten Nielsen: drums

About the Musical Style of Artillery's Debut Album

Artillery is one of the oldest thrash metal bands in the music business originally from Denmark (yes, there is a thrash metal scene in Denmark) dating as far back as 1982. Their 1985 debut album Fear of Tomorrow is the second studio album that I have heard from these guys, the first one being By Inheritance released in 1990. Fear of Tomorrow has this sort of raw sound without being too raw if you know what is meant by this description. In other words, the sound on this album is not that dirty raw kind of sound. It has that sound quality that lets you know that this album was recorded in the 1980s. At this time, thrash metal was still a relatively new genre and it was still developing. The sound on this album is just like the sound quality on the album Crest of Black by Japanese thrash metal band Sacrifice so the sound is primitive without sounding dirty or muffled.

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"Into the Universe"

Fear of Tomorrow Album Style Continued

Artillery is a band that shows that it lives up to its name right from the first song called “Time Has Come.” The first song has the sound of gunfire followed by a 1980s style progressive acoustic part before the black metal guitar style kicks in. This debut also has a bit of a black metal feel though not the kind of black metal that would surface in the 1990s. This is more of a primitive black metal/rock sound such as Mercyful Fate without the overly satanic lyrical themes. Morten Stutzer does a terrific short bass section in the song “Out of the Sky.” Early on, he was showing his technical skill and prowess. There is also the “wah” pedal sound in the solos and if you want to know what that is, just listen to Kirk Hammett’s guitar play to get an idea.

Analysis of the Meaning and Symbolism Behind the Album's Cover and Album Title

The album’s cover features a photo of the Grim Reaper with a weapon in his hand and that would be enough to make some people feel some apprehension and fear because of the menacing look. But the saying “don’t judge an album by its cover” especially applies here. The Grim Reaper would be a character that would be featured years later in the 1990s with band such as Children of Bodom. The album’s title was really a good one for the times because in 1985, there was the real threat of nuclear war with the then Soviet Union and then of course the Soviets were involved in the war in Afghanistan. There was a real fear of what might happen the next day so the tension was in the air.

Final Thoughts About Artillery's Debut Album

Fear of Tomorrow could be considered one of those revolutionary releases because of how it shaped the thrash metal genre. It has the raw sound without sounding too muffled and dirty. It has progressive guitar parts and even though it is the darkest album by Artillery, it should not make you feel despondent. The bass guitar play in the song “The Almighty” should be given credit and consideration despite its evil lyrical themes. The middle section of this song kind of sounds like the song “Destroy” by Japanese thrash metal band Sacrifice. “Into the Universe” is one of the fastest songs in this album as lyrically the song is about what happens in a world that is consumed by hell, fire and brimstone.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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