Artillery

Nordic Noise Rock Festival - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Good old Artillery was set to be the headliner of the first day of this year’s Nordic Noise Rock Festival, and with their ‘Eighties thrash, they were definitely also one of the hardest bands to play here.
Artillery was also, next to Bullet, the band we were looking the most forward to seeing, and with the promise of a special Fear Of Tomorrow show, things were looking pretty good when the clock struck show-start time.

But it wasn’t the good old Artillery that greeted us, as the band walked out on the stage. From what could be called the good old boys, we only had Michael Stützer left in the band. Michael Bastholm Dahl was still on vocals, but usually he’s seen as the kid of the crew, as it were. Now Stützer was the one who looked out of place, as all of the other were young guys. I recognised Danni Lyse Jelsgaard (Satanic Assault Division, ex-Svartsot) on the drums immediately, whereas guitarist Rune Gangelhof and bassist Tobias Nefer were completely new to me.

(play faster!) Play faster? Damn straight, we’re going to do it!”
- Michael Bastholm Dahl (vocals)


There was still a well-sized crowd in the hall, although it had thinned out slightly between the last show and this one.
This was surprising to me. By all accounts, I had figured that Artillery would be the biggest pull of the day, as had the festival management I guess, since they had given Artillery the headliner position. Not only was the crowd a bit smaller, it was also calmer now that the night snuck in. Odd.
Up on the stage, Bastholm Dahl was giving a good performance, although not as strong as we are used to from his side. His vocals, as I’ve noticed before, were good, but a lot cleaner than the original vocals by Flemming Rönsdorf (although, given his present musical career, Rönsdorf could probably not do them justice either). Gangelhof and Nefer were headbanging a lot, but other than that stayed quite anonymous. In the end, it was Stützer that showed the young pups how to deliver a performance – he reached out to the crowd, he poured his aggression into the solos, and even played one of them with his teeth!

“Back in ‘Eighties, when the band wrote this song, everyone’s mind was on the Cold War and such. Strangely enough, it is pretty much the same thing we have on our minds nowadays. We (the human race) haven’t really progressed all that much.”
- Michael Stützer (guitar)


Whether it was due to the lateness of the hour, the oddness of the band, or the somewhat tired performance, I cannot say, but little by little the crowd kept thinning out. The otherwise popular concept of playing old albums in their entirety didn’t seem to have the desired effect on the Nordic Noise Rock Festival audience either, and the anticipated response didn’t quite show up.
To finish up, Artillery added a few bonus tracks, as it were, after they had ripped through the Fear Of Tomorrow section of the set. As the first, we were pulled straight into the present of the band, with the song Live By The Scythe from Artillery’s latest album, Penalty By Perception. After this, we went back in history again, with one song from each of the other two albums released in the original life of the band. Here Bastholm Dahl turned up the heat, in order to awaken the last people who stuck around till the end. The response was limited, but did increase a bit before the show was completely over.

All in all, this was an odd experience. It wasn’t quite the band that I had expected (and I haven’t been able to find conclusive evidence if this was a new setting of the band, or just a live setting), it wasn’t the response from the crowd I had expected, and it didn’t interest me as much as I had expected. To be frank, this was not an especially interesting show from Artillery, a band I have seen do much better in the past.
Let’s hope this was a one-time fluke, and that they’ll return stronger again in the future.

Setlist:

Time Has Come
The Almighty
Show Your Hate
King, Thy Name Is Slayer
Out Of The Sky
Into The Universe
The Eternal War
Fear Of Tomorrow
Deeds Of Darkness
Live By The Scythe
Terror Squad
Khomaniac

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