I've never been disappointed with Bolt Thrower in the past, and I'm not this time either. The band is one of the few who have stubbornly remained loyal to their own sound and not given in to trends, or what others think. The eighth Bolt Thrower album Those Once Loyal doesn't differ much from the previous album Honour, Valour, Pride. or the one before, or the one before that. The only noticeable difference is that long-time vocalist Karl Willetts is back, replacing his replacement Dave Ingram [formerly in Benediction].
Bolt Thrower anno 2005 sounds as good and uncompromisingly as they did back in the early days, and as I wrote before things haven't changed much since then, but why begin to tamper with a well-oiled war machine that works smoothly? The band undauntedly continues to play their unparalleled brand of death metal. As usual the songs are mostly kept in a rather mid-tempo based pace with a few shifts in tempo here and there. Despite of the somewhat one-tracked pace, the songs are varied and never seem to lose their durability or appeal.
I've been listening to Those Once Loyal constantly the last couple of days, and I find nothing to point fingers at. Held up against Honour, Valour, Pride., Those Once Loyal is a little less guitar driven as the bass have gotten more room this time. All the songs are good, but I immediately fell for "The Killchain" [who continues the story started with "World Eater"], not to mention the titletrack and "Last Stand of Humanity". Those Once Loyal doesn't offer much new, if anything, but that's just the way I like it with regard to Bolt Thrower. You possibly eon't go wrong with Bolt Thrower, and if you liked Honour, Valour, Pride., of any other Bolt Thrower album for that matter, then you most certainly won't be disappointed with Those Once Loyal. I'm not.