Ambush – “Infidel” (High Roller Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Pure heavy metal heaven!!! Although not a million miles away from other Swedish pure heavy metal bands like RAM and Enforcer in being influenced by Judas Priest and Accept, Ambush go a step further by incorporating many of the power melodies associated with the likes of Saxon and Riot. However, while those late 70s / early 80s stylistic influences are intentional, so too is the desire not to plagiarize it, but instead rework it into modernity for the new age. “Infidel”, the band’s 3rd studio release, does exactly that across the 10 excellent tracks that bleed power but also unashamedly exude plenty of catchy melodies, harmonies and tons of stirring passion making the material nothing short of a headbangers dream. Opening spectacularly with the title track ‘Infidel’, you could be right back in the early 80s as the rip roaring twin guitars and double bass drumming ignite the fire, but on commendable balance, Oskar Jacobsson’s excellent vocal range hits the soaring soulful highs as well as screaming with plenty of vengeance to make the song and especially the catchy chorus instantly memorable. With plenty of fast licks on ‘Leave Them To Die’ backed by hoarse shout outs contrasting Jacobsson’s tender vocals that ‘…you will burn with your master..’, the energy from the resonating riffs and double bass kick beats is undeniable thanks to the excellent mastering of legendary Svante Forsbäck, making this another impressive catchy track that sinks deep into your heart and mind. Taking it back to the simple but highly effective rocking one-two beat of Saxon and Accept on ‘Hellbiter’, Jacobsson’s soulful highs simply overflow across this song that builds and hits home on the deep chorus despite the track’s seemingly aggressive song title. Back in the day this is what we would call ‘commercial’, yet it’s done so well here that you could call it a worthy ‘wimp out’ in adding an excellent contrast to the material and showing another string to the mighty bow of the aptly named Ambush, who truly took me by surprise with this impressive album!