DUST TO GOLD
Released on April 20, 2018 (Steamhammer SPV)
By now, hopefully most Sleaze Roxx readers are even vaguely familiar with Bullet. Hailing from Sweden (no surprise there), their first album hit the streets in 2006. It wasn’t until Sleaze Roxx introduced me to their second release, Bite The Bullet in 2008, that I started paying attention. The album ranked #1 that year on the Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2008. In fact, on November 1st, 2008, Sleaze Roxx said of Bite The Bullet, “To say I enjoyed this album would be a monumental understatement. I don’t care if you are short on cash and have to stop eating in order to afford Bite The Bullet, hell I don’t even care if you have to starve your own children, this is a must have album!”
The band continued in 2011 with Highway Pirates, listed at #2 for Sleaze Roxx‘s top albums for that year, and Full Pull a year later. Storm Of Blades (also album #7 in the Sleaze Roxx‘s year-ending top 10 albums) in 2014 was their last effort before creating Dust To Gold. I went back and absorbed a few of their previous offerings, and to say this band is consistent is an understatement. Sure, there has been growth in artistry and writing, but the sound, the attitude, all remain the same.
Speaking of attitude, opening track “Speed And Attack” is an absolutely perfect introduction to the album at a mere 2:36. Every instrument is pounding on all cylinders. As always, Hell Hofer’s high end vocals are love/hate, but it does work in this context. “Ain’t Enough” quickly becomes another fist in the air vehicle. Songs like “Rogue Soldier” take me back to Armored Saint. Similar to Saint, the songs often sound somewhat simplistic, until further listens suggest there may be much thought put into the creative process.
There’s an interesting cross mix of ’80s genres in “Fuel The Fire.” The intro hints at an early Great White, or a dark Ratt style song, but when the band kicks in…. gee I don’t know. It could be reflective of Great White‘s Shot in the Dark, or Ratt‘s Dancing Undercover era, with a very different vocal pitch. But man, the guitar work opening “One More Round” really does get me going. A high energy track that will come as no surprise to fans of the band.
“Highway Love”, “Wildfire” and “Dust To Gold” follow a pretty predictable path. These are not bad songs, but are typical and not outstanding amongst the Bullet catalogue. What is really interesting to my ears are the combined work of “Screams In The Night”, “Forever Rise” and “Hollow Grounds.” There is a whole lot of Judas Priest to each of these songs. Not so much in the vocals as Hofer maxes out a few registers below Rob Halford, but the song structure and how the tracks are put together. I might add that track 10 — “The Prophecy” — reflects, in my opinion, one of the most useless ways bands attempt to pad a track listing. Clocking in at less than 30 seconds, it is merely a bit of a guitar effect acting as an intro to “Hollow Grounds.” What’s the point?
Dust To Gold is the fifth Bullet album reviewed by Sleaze Roxx, going back an entire decade now. In that time, Bullet keep producing solid hard rock, and there have been very few negative comments about the band or its work. Dust To Gold maintains the hard driving, fist in the air attitude of European hard rock… and keeps alive the dreams of future glory in North America. In today’s social climate, I must reject a portion of the review mentioned earlier for Bullet’s original album… and I cannot stress enough people… do buy this album, but DO NOT starve your children just to do it! That would simply be the wrong thing to do.
01. Speed And Attack
02. Ain’t Enough
03. Rouge Soldier
04. Fuel The Fire
05. One More Round
06. Highway Love
08. Screams In The Night
09. Forever Rise
10. The Prophecy
11. Hollow Grounds
12. Dust To Gold
Alexander Lyrbo – guitars
Hampus Klang – guitars
Gustav Hector – bass
Hell Hofer – vocals
Gustav Hjortsjö – drums
Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, May 2018
Bullet‘s “Fuel The Fire” video:
Taken from the forthcoming album “Dust To Gold” – Out April 20th, 2018. You can pre-order the album here: https://Bullet.lnk.to/DustToGold Tourdates 2018: http://www.bulletrock.com/tour
Bullet‘s “Ain’t Enough” video:
Taken from the forthcoming album “Dust To Gold” – Out April 20th, 2018! Check the tourdates at: http://www.bulletrock.com/tour