Ambush has entitled their new and sophomore album Desecrator and considering that they were a complete unknown on my radar I expected it to be some death metal style that most likely wouldn’t appeal to my tastes. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover/title as I was pleasantly surprised upon tentatively diving in by this heavily influenced by Judas Priest sound.
Ambush hail from Växjö, Sweden (I don’t know what’s in the water over there, but that country sure produces some damn fine high-quality rock of late) and are made up of Oskar Jacobsson (vocals), Olof Engkvist (guitars), Adam Hagelin (guitars), Ludwig Sjöholm (bass) and Linus Fritzson (drums). They formed in 2013 and quickly produced a four song Demokassett which led them into a partnership deal with German label High Roller Records. The two-song EP, Natural Born Killers, came in March 2014 with the debut full-length, Firestorm, in May the same year. Much of the nine-song Firestorm introductory album effort was comprised of songs from Demokassett and Natural Born Killers. October 30, 2015, sees Desecrator arriving, the sophomore outing from this band oft likened to Judas Priest and Accept. According to drummer Linus Fritzson, the new album Desecrator builds on what the Swedes have achieved with Firestorm: “We have received a lot of positive response. The album has sold very well in a lot of different countries all over the world. We are happy that people liked it this much. We hope that people will like the next one just as much or even more.”
“Possessed by Evil” accompanied by a pre-album released video, leads the rampaging charge of the Desecrator album with it’s galloping opening riffs. The Priest influences can easily be heard and this is the kind of old-school heavy metal that ole Meister can groove to! Furthering the Judas Priest comparisons, Jacobsson achieves a definite Halford-ish vocal sound on “Night of Defilers”, which some have also said runs a vein of AC/DC as well. That’s the thing here with Desecrator while Judas Priest jumps out at me there, is much more contained herein and they’re not just a simple “clone” band. Ambush have taken their old school influences including the likes of Priest, Accept, Riot and Iron Maiden and melded them together with a modern production. The album’s title track displays more of this without losing interest and “The Chain Reaction” that follows is a definite highlight track. “Southstreet Brotherhood” has that charging anthem feel to it, a definite crowd pumper in a live setting with a gang vocal chorus. The ripping frantic pace that starts “Rose of the Dawn” crashes along ahead of “Master of the Seas”, a more mid-tempo track that absolutely shines. “Faster” is another rager begging for the fist in the air! In the closing and ninth position on Desecrator sits “The Seventh Seal” for the longest runtime at near 7.5 minutes long, reminding me of the classic Maiden album formats where a lengthy epic song is the closer.
As you can see in the photos above Ambush even look the part and they surely would have made an impression on the record-buying public back in the 1980’s, but thank heaven they’re here now, waving the heavy metal flag high!
Firestorm album ordered!!