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Album Reviews : Hail of Bullets – Of Frost and War

By on August 15, 2008

On the Eastern Front of World War Two an estimated 30 million people were killed in some of the most brutal ways imaginable. Soldiers and civilians alike were killed by bayonets, horrific bullet wounds and even choked to death by vile poison gas… sounds brutal enough for a death metal album. Hail of Bullets, a death metal “super-group” of sorts, has decided to take the horrific events of the eastern front and convert them to audio with their debut album “…Of Frost and War”.

Featuring ex-members of Asphyx, Bolt Thrower and Pestilence and having released a killer demo last year the expectation of this album was high and what they have delivered is as explosive as a B-24 bomber. Opening with an excellent instrumental (for those gamers think of the intro to the first Call of Duty) sets the mood brilliantly for what is to follow for the next 57 minutes. This intro leads into the stunning ‘Ordered Eastward’. Arguably the highlight of the album ‘Ordered Eastward’ contains all the things expected in a death metal opener. Thrashing riffs and gut wrenching guttural vocals are combined with a haunting use of the snare drum to create a mood of death and despair. The riffs also ensure the promotion of some serious headbanging as they are remain catchy despite their extreme brutality.

The album continues to thud along with the ferocity of a Panzer with songs spanning through the different sub-genres of Death Metal to produce a varying array of sounds that ensure the album remains interesting for its entire duration.

Another great feature of this album is its lyrics. The details of death and battle from the Eastern Front conjure up brutal images and thoughts the like of which can usually only be through film rather then music.

“Of Frost and War” features songs as brutal as the Battle For Stalingrad itself and musicianship the like of which is too often ignored in modern day music. When these two things are combined the end result is one of the albums of the year. Like the Russian soldiers this album does not take one step back from start to end and with this amazing effort Hail of Bullets are flying the flag for metal high above the smoldering ruins of posers the world over.

GET THIS ALBUM! 8.5/10

For fans of: Possessed, Autopsy, Dismember, Pestilence

Band: Hail of Bullets
Album: Of Frost And War
Year: 2008
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Origin: Holland
Website: http://www.myspace.com/hailoffuckenbullets

Track Listing
1. Before the Storm (Barbarossa) / Intro
2. Ordered Eastward <– Reviewers Pick
3. The Lake Ladoga Massacre
4. General Winter
5. Advancing Once More
6. Red Wolves of Stalin
7. Nachthexen
8. The Crucial Offensive (19-11-1942, 7.30 AM)
9. Stalingrad
10. Insanity Commands / bonus track
11. Inferno at the Carpathian Mountains
12. Berlin

Reviewed by Elliot Coombe