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Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal
Review: Bolt Thrower you can dance to is not good Bolt Thrower. While musical strides, such as more interesting harmonization and better use of the melodic minor scale, occur on this album they come at the price of more plasticine songwriting that is both simpler and hook-dependent, making a CD that sounds like AC/DC covering Bolt Thrower with advice from newer Napalm Death. It's a grindcore product, in other words.
There are some tasty riffs, good use of melodic bass, and production is strong yet obscure like ancient bronze keeps inscriptions under a patina of green corrosion, but these songs are simple-minded and so lack the ability for enduring listens that earlier Bolt Thrower bore down on us. The enigma is gone; the depth is gone; what's here is technique and standard rock-style metal songs, with plenty of offbeat and melodic doubleback to really catch your ear.
Good music has nuance and character that serves a personality of what it expresses, while bad music is linear and simple and has a personality designed to be like a paid friend, one who never objects to what you're doing and fits in any situation. Naturally, such panderers never make the decision you need to make to avoid disaster, and by their inherent politeness, are dishonest. This album will offend no one and equally, will gratify no discerning listener.