Dust Bolt – Sound & Fury (AFM Records)

Wednesday, 21st February 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

No better time than a prolonged, enforced break to reassess where you want to go as a band. Take the case on display here for German thrash quartet Dust Bolt. Their last release Trapped in Chaos came out in early 2019 – after the final touring cycle abruptly ended as the pandemic shut down any live entertainment in March 2020, these musicians had time to think about their careers and what would take place next. This fifth album Sound & Fury not only is the debut for new record label AFM Records, but also a shift in terms of expanding the influence horizons of where the band wants to go as far as the songwriting, style, and overall tones. Call this Dust Bolt 2.0 if you will.

The singles brigade to lead up to this release started in the summer of last year (to date half of the album’s twelve tracks have been issued in this manner), a bold move that epitomizes a modern approach to promotion where active, consistent engagement can be the key to garner wider appeal long-term. Throughout the record the influence bank expands into melodic, alternative, grunge, and pop sensible horizons – on both musical as well as vocal fronts. The band doesn’t abandon thrash completely – as there are many sections to songs like “Leave Nothing Behind” or “New Flame” where the precision riffing and heads down up-tempo accelerator gets pushed to the limit, as well as lead breaks that throw down as many notes in an eight-bar measure as possible. Conversely, the attention to hook-laden musical passages or diversity in terms of the gritty screams to natural melodic register from guitarist Lenny B. to his vocals sits in that grunge / heavy rock platform – leading to numerous anthem-oriented tracks such as “I Am the One” and the title cut that could easily crossover to contemporary audiences who prefer artists like Alice in Chains, The Killers, or others in that alternative movement. Going where their creativity strides, it’s a perfect example of childhood friends growing together to put themselves in a pivotal position, where they may lose some followers yet gain others willing to embrace the diverse energy present in these songs.

Favorites change by the day – many will enjoy the authentic swinging groove for “Disco Nnection”, the psychedelic, emotive closing ballad “Little Stone”, or the jackhammer mid-tempo guitar runs that pummel your ears for “I Witness”. Dust Bolt in its current incarnation aren’t content to be merely a prototypical thrash band no longer through Sound & Fury. Time will tell if this launches the group into a bigger following, but this is quite addictive, leading to more memorable songs that could be future staples for quite some time in the live set.

Dust Bolt official website

Dust Bolt on Facebook

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