I remember when I heard Dust Bolt for the first time: it was in 2016, when they released their Mass Confusion album. Despite there was nothing essentially new, I really liked the mix of various schools of thrash metal – American, Teutonic, Crossover etc. Listening to their entire discography shortly before I got the promo of the new album, Sound & Fury, convinced me one more time that Dust Bolt really can do some good music within the genre, developing from album to album. And here I am, with long awaited press kit. I turn it on, looking ahead to another thrash attack but with each new song I just ask myself louder and louder: what the hell is this?
“…still rooted in thrash and old school metal, the new record adds dazzling color and diversity to the band’s trademark sound” states the press release, but a couple of plays of the entire album I clearly understood that such statement is a deceit (gently speaking). Thrash metal is present there maybe in 5% of music and I’m not overreacting. While the other 95% is pretty far from thrash.
“The world is changed: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, I smell it in the air…” said Galadriel in “Fellowship of the Ring” intro. In Sound & Fury you can notice the changes in an artwork already. Do you remember previous Dust Bolt albums and their covers? Acid colors, gore, suffering or just the dark void. Sound & Fury is a grey/white photo of the members just like another boys band. Yes, they make some rowdiness but it still looks more cute than angry.
Well, ok, who gives a damn about covers nowadays? What about the music? So, musically this album goes down from catchy (more or less) groove metal to some radio friendly rock like Halestorm or Three Days Grays. “Little Stone”, which closes the album, so in general, is a melancholic and brooding song with a lot of keys and strings; I couldn’t shake the feeling that if some electronic samples were added there, it will be another track from the album Play by Moby. Ok, it’s melodic and nice, I admit it, but when it comes from Dust Bolt, it’s pretty strange.
For the great justice, there are some good moments in Sound & Fury: mentioned groove in “Leave Nothing Behind” with some good, pummeling riff or “I Witness”, which remotely resembles thrash roots; drumming in “New Flame” or the main riff in “Sound and Fury.” The problem is that there are moments, not the songs or main themes at least. But if we take some songs overall, it will be rather sad picture. For example, “I am the One” sounds just like the latest Godsmack with melodic cheesy chorus. “Feel the Storm” goes the same way, with some attempts to sound at least a little aggressive but in the end there is just raspy vocals with a little bit dirty sound but overall it’s just another radio friendly song. “Burning Pieces” sounds more like some 90s alternative with groovy but secondary guitar riff. In its turn, “Love & Reality” starts funky, with really good bass line but then comes the chorus, which reminds Nickelback‘s music so bad; some groove comes in the end of the song but not fully.
To be honest, I don’t understand what happened to the band and why these changes are so dramatic. As I understood from what Lenny Bruce (vocalist) told, Dust Bolt decided to revisit their music after Trapped In Chaos album and write the things that come to mind, without limiting themselves by narrow borders of thrash metal and they have their full right for it. On my part, I can’t say this album was so bad that I suffered some hellish torment while listening to it, no. I didn’t want to turn off the songs but I don’t want to listen to it one more time and I will hardly get back to it, unlike to its predecessors.
Sound & Fury will be released on February, 23 via AFM Records.
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