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Review of the Album "Terror Squad" by Artillery Perhaps Denmark’s Best Thrash Metal Band

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

A black and green audio mixer or drum machine made in the 1980s.

A black and green audio mixer or drum machine made in the 1980s.

About the Musical Style of the Album Terror Squad

Terror Squad is the 2nd studio album by the band Artillery, perhaps the best thrash metal band to come out of Denmark. If their debut album Fear of Tomorrow had this raw sound to it then what does this 1987 album have in it for the listener musically? This album stylistically is not too much different than another famous 1987 heavy metal album. It is not much different from Holy Moses’ Finished With the Dogs which also came out in the same year 1987. This second album by these Danish guys is mostly dominated by relentless speed, both in the riffs and the solos. The vocals of Flemming Ronsdorf have more of that falsetto style to them and this is one quality that was common in thrash metal albums of this time period regardless of the country that it came out of. This album does not quite have the total raw sound to it that their debut album did but it sounds kind of like an early release by German thrash metal band Tankard.

The Album Terror Squad Is a Decent Musical Training Ground for These Danish Guys

Then you have songs like the title track "Terror Squad" which sound like early Metallica (think about the song Trapped Under Ice). Just that early section is similar to that song. Lyrically, Terror Squad is similar to thrash metal albums of the mid to late 1980s in the sense that they are about the challenges of surviving on Planet Earth when humans have selfishly pursued certain goals for their own ends. The solo is played really fast but you can still hear the main rhythm playing as well. As fast as the riffs on this album are played, the album still does not quite measure up to other albums of the time period and especially not Holy Moses. But if you are an open minded listener, you will see that for some young bands it takes time for them to reach their peak. For Artillery, their excellence really reached new heights with By Inheritance in 1990. So this album is still a sort of musical training ground for these guys. From a simple level, if we did not analyze this album, something might have been left out of the picture. We would not be able to fully notice how this Danish band got so great by their 3rd album.

They do get at least something right lyrically in the song “In the Trash” where there is a reference to the fact that people that usurp power usually fall and empires fail too eventually. It could be inferred that an empire that fails this means that it was all for nothing, sort of like a wasted effort. What is clear to those of us that are well versed with the knowledge of thrash metal, this album is definitely not a wasted effort, but an album that was part of the growth process for these Danish guys. Once again, we have the late Morten Stutzer playing the bass guitar on this album. “The Challenge” is a song that is similar to what Kreator and Slayer were writing especially at this time though one major difference is that Artillery did not use death metal vocals. This second album by Artillery can also be thought of by some of you as an acquired taste so some may not enjoy this album very much.

Final Rating for the album Terror Squad as of this point in time after three full listens through: 79 points out of 100 for a solid C plus. The reason that it does not get a score of 80 or 81 points is because the falsetto style vocals may be too forced.

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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