Following in the thoroughly trampled footsteps of bands like Bolt Thrower, Hail Of Bullets play pitch-perfect mid-tempo death metal with a total fixation on war and an utter disregard for lesser human concerns. The focus is single-minded and pure, befitting the straight-ahead crush of guitars and the martial trudge of the rhythm section. On “DG-7,” the second single and longest track taken from their third LP, the band slows down and spreads out: Harmonized guitars announce the epic intent before laying waste with ripping thrash, blasting forward then falling back into formation as the tempo drops for an extended melodic outro. Frontman Martin van Drunen — one of the all-time legends of death metal, having sung on classic records by Pestilence and Asphyx, even filling in for Bolt Thrower for a handful of tours — here sounds impressively hellish and hoarse, his trademark ragged scream almost painful to hear. It doesn’t get much better. Listen.
Hail Of Bullets’ III The Rommel Chronicles is out 10/29 via Metal Blade.