Released on March 13, 2020 (High Roller Records)
When I was a kid growing up amid the amazing musical landscape of the ’80s, I would play my limited collection of albums via the only stereo system located in the house, which happened to be in the living room. With the kitchen on the other side of the small living room, my mother could hear whatever songs that my younger brother and I were listening to. Eventually, my mother noticed that I had a real liking for singers with high pitched vocals such as Helloween‘s Michael Kiske or Dokken‘s own Don Dokken. This inclination toward high pitched vocalists has continued throughout my entire life and not surprisingly, as soon as I heard Ambush frontman Oskar Jacobsson‘s vocals on top of the classic metal music canvass provided by his bandmates, I was instantly hooked.
I would have never thought that I’d have to wait more than four years for Ambush‘s follow up to their very good Desecration album (check out the single “Southstreet Brotherhood”) but I have to say that it was worth the wait. Ambush‘s third studio album Infidel has everything that I love in a heavy metal album from the high pitched vocals to a tight but not overplayed metal music delivery to excellent melodies for a heavier band. In fact, Ambush‘s latest album Infidel reminds me of Helloween‘s Keeper of The Seven Keys era with less nuances and variety than what the German veteran power metal rockers offered back then Jacobsson‘s singing reminds me a lot of Kiske‘s higher pitched vocal delivery although I think that the latter has more vocal range than the former. Nevertheless, Jacobsson has a knack for singing within his comfort zone — which is still pretty wide — and making it feel like it’s simply effortless.
The jewel in the crown for Ambush on their latest album Infidel is the first single “Hellbiter.” When I first heard it, I thought that the song was a bit simple and very straightforward but the more I have listened to it, the more that I appreciate it and the more that the song gets embedded in my mind. Even my kids mentioned to me earlier tonight that I was singing songs (at low volume) to myself more often these days and the only song that I have been “singing” is “Hellbiter.” It’s sure to be a staple of Ambush‘s live sets for many, many years to come. Just like on Desecration, I like every one of the tracks on Infidel. Ambush haven’t strayed too far from their last album with the old school feel and as I indicated in my review for Desecration — the songs are heavy yet melodic and commercially accessible without being commercial or selling out. The guitar tones and harmonies from guitarists Adam Hagelin and Olof Engvist sound really good and some of their solos such as on the track “A Silent Killer” are sometimes the highlight of the songs.
There are a couple of things that I could do without this time around. The one minute interlude halfway through the album consisting of the track “The Summoning” is poorly placed on the record. Either put that interlude at the beginning of the record or just don’t bother including it. I understand that lead vocalist Oskar Jacobsson has a fascination with the occult and that seems to be reflected in the lyrics for the songs on Ambush‘s latest album as well as the general theme for the record. The album cover of an upside down cross burning away and the overall dark occult theme doesn’t match up to the classic heavy metal musical delivery and excellent melodies that can be found on the album. It would be shame for people to bypass Ambush‘s latest record Infidel simply because the album cover stereotypes the band into a certain mould such as a death metal group.
Overall, Ambush have delivered a fine follow up to their album Desecration and there is no doubt that I will be playing Infidel for many years to come. Infidel was well worth the four plus year wait.
03. Leave Them To Die
05. The Summoning
06. The Demon Within
07. A Silent Killer
08. Iron Helm of War
09. Heart of Stone
10. Lust For Blood
Oskar Jacobsson – vocals, harmonica (2, 9)
Adam Hagelin – guitars
Ludwig Sjöholm – bass
Olof Engqvist – guitars
Linus Fritzson – drums
Burning Fire – bass
Ambush – background vocals
Joey – background vocals
Jakke – background vocals
Gnutte – background vocals
Empa – background vocals
Puman – background vocals
Produced and instruments recorded by Ambush and Mankan Sedenberg
Vocals recorded by Oskar Jacobsson
Mixed by Mankan Sedenberg
Mastered by Swante Forsbäck
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, May 2020
Ambush‘s “Hellbiter” video:
NEW SINGLE “HELLBITER” OUT MAY 31th -19 Official music video by the Swedish heavy metal band Ambush. Directed by Max Ljungberg, starring Zoe “Hellbiter” Hell…
Ambush‘s “Infidel” video:
Official music video by the Swedish heavy metal band Ambush. Directed by Bläcksquid Inc. Merch: https://ambushsweden.bigcartel.com https://www.facebook.com/A…