Bulletbelt hails from Wellington and these guys have been touring and establishing themselves in the scene for a few years now having released two EPs and a live album already. They play in a lot of the local shows and have a national tour already under their belt and are about to head out on another excursion in support of their debut album release. With the theme of this album you could almost start to think its war metal but donít let the names deceive you as this album covers several genres of metal. Speaking of covers they have an awesome one from the now famous Nick Keller and itís a beauty. Nick has raised the level for cover art in New Zealand and it complements Bulletbelt in the sense that they are raising the level and banner in the national metal scene. With all of these world class metal bands throughout Nz chomping at the bit, whose going to lead the charge?
This album starts off at a frenetic pace sure to get the blood boiling and the heart pumping with the instrumental Storming the Armoury and itís in this vein that the album sets its pace. The twin guitars at the opening are tight and sure to get the head banging along as I did while listening to this album. This is classic metal for all the old school thrash metalheads out there who wonít be disappointed although the vocal style is very much a black metal shriek. Icarus shows a more black metal edge before heading into the title track of the album Down In The Cold Of The Grave. Itís hard to label this band in a genre because there so many influences coming through. Into Battle is a mighty war cry which will stir the masses the song building itself into a frenzy.
Mistaken Identity is a nod to NZ punk in the form of a No Tag cover and a song which they have played live to which the pits have gone nuts. Itís definitely a highlight of the album.
Locust is an epic track and the longest on the album with the whole album tracking in at less than 30 minutes. This track showcases the unrelenting twin guitar attack. The album never lets up and Iron Clad finishes it nicely with a treat of an opening and some outstanding guitar work throughout.
After the two EPs preceding this release itís been a worthwhile wait for their debut long play. Buy the album as itís worth it to get the total package that Bulletbelt are and make sure you get to any show they are playing at near you because the pit is guaranteed to be brutal as hell.