Bullet – “Live” 2CD / 2LP (Steamhammer / SPV)
Battle Helm Rating
With 6 releases now under their bullet belts, Swedish heavy metallers Bullet felt the time was right for their first live album – and what better way than to record it than in front of ‘..headbanging maniacs who thirsted for heavy metal and a good time..’! Recorded at 3 gigs in Germany from our 2017 “Storm Of Blades” tour and the 2018 “Dust To Gold”, the band even placed mics into the audience to get the full experience of a Bullet gig, which the 18 tracks taken from across their albums – but all fan favourites live – here vividly capture. Attesting to the band’s reputation for intense shows, the songs are definitely harder, louder and even longer although the band’s desire to put on a perfect performance, along with putting out a quality product, recording with Bullet’s live technician Dennis Åhman and Arne Lakenmacher (Annihilator, Doro, Axel Rudi Pell), and mixed by Mankan Sedenberg (Crucified Barbara, The Flower Kings) should not be understated. As such, after countless wrecked clubs, halls and festivals, “Live” – which is a double album – brings the full Bullet show i.e. ‘.. a wall of Marshalls, long hair, an old tour bus, and who play 100% live without using backing tracks or stuff like that..’ into your face! Right from the off, both band and crowd are up for the challenge with little encouragement needed (at both ends!) given the singalong potential of Bullet’s material, as led by Hell Hofer’s shrilling vocals and the raw twin guitars of Hampus Klang and Alexander Lyrbo are either cranking out the metallic riff bliss or soulfully wailing into your heart like on ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ when Gustav Hjortsjö’s drum beat gets the crowd roaring to the chorus. Man, it was a real good idea to record in the audience and definitely gives this live album the edge over many bigger name releases – both present and past! On the chugging ‘Speed And Attack’ Gustav Hector’s bass really brings it home with its ballsy sound, and when the screaming guitar solos bite, you can already picture the headbanging and air guitars in unison just like it was back in the old days, especially given the catchiness of the song, with just the right amount of melody to temper the aggression. Stomping away to a nice kick beat, ‘Ain’t Enough’ also doesn’t pull any punches (indeed, none of the songs do!) through its stirring spirit, as sung passionately if still in his shrill by Hofer – superb. “Live” is 100% pure heavy metal mayhem – what more could you ask for!