Dust Bolt – “Mass Confusion” (Napalm Records)
Winners of the Wacken Metal Battle 2011, Dust Bolt have gone from strength to strength and with “Mass Confusion”, hit a home run! Heavily influenced by the Bay Area sound and certainly early Slayer, on “Mass Confusion” the boys have also injected a big amount of crossover and man, it works a treat adding heavy grooves, shout out choruses and rebounding rhythms to their already raucous sound like on ‘Turned To Grey’ or ‘Mind The Gap’ (with an intro that I’m sure anyone from London will appreciate ha ha!). A heavy touring band, clearly Dust Bolt have learned from their more seasoned peers, bringing it all together incredibly tightly in their musicianship, which also seems to have improved technically, not to mention some real class and maturity in their songwriting. While the expectation for some on a 3rd album might be to experiment and go further afield, I’m really glad these young guys didn’t do so too radically and stuck to their core sound instead, preferring to refine and enrich their it like on the slower but powerfully atmospheric ‘Exit’, brought to life through some excellent emotional acoustic work and thanks once again to the analogue production at Engine Studios! Still, there’s plenty of thrashing gusto on the likes of ‘Taking Your Last Breath‘ along with some excellent guitar work from front man vocalist Lenny Breuss and Flo D showing some deep melodies along with their speed n aggression. All in all a great album that shows this German band stepping up and raising the bar respectably in line with their own stride.