Ammunition: ‘Ammunition’

Released on January 26, 2018 (Frontiers Music Srl)

Review by Metal Mike:
So, Ammunition. This band from Oslo, Norway was founded by former Wig Wam singer Åge Sten Nilsen, along with Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse, W.E.T, Nordic Union). Ammunition play some kind of solid hard rock, and I’ve become a huge fan.

I get where Nilsen is coming from. He was born a few years before I was, but absorbed the late ’70s and ’80s hard rock music scene, just like me. This particular album encapsulates both that era and recognizes that the genre has moved on since then. I’ll start off by saying the production on this album is great. Every instrument is clearly noticeable and impacts each song when it needs to. This is highlighted via “Tear Your City Down” where the production is fantastic. But, returning to track number one, the guitar work in the opening bars of “Time” is pretty amazing. The chorus follows it through and I have ended up really liking the attitude and emotion of this tune.

While ’80s metal would go all out on a singular riff, “Freedom Finder” goes a bit further. The drum and clap beat leads the verse, but the song as a whole goes far beyond that type of instrumentation. That said, “Virtual Reality Boy” floats along with quite an ’80s feel. Enjoyable on the fist few listens, but I would question its longevity. I am a little luke warm about “Caveman.” It has some solid guitar work, but doesn’t hook me as a whole song. “Wrecking Crew” on the other hand, is a funky rock offering that really works, even with the whistling going on. There are tracks like “Gung Ho”, “Tear Your City Down” or “Bad Bones” that simply rock. This is great stuff for ’80s aficionados. They don’t show much modern innovation, but that’s not such a bad thing.  Finally, I find “Klondike” an interesting song. It floats between a drum led verse, then a sing-along chorus, and a powerful solo. Not sure how I feel about it, but it’s surely not negative.

Ammunition have put together a solid album with several tracks that will stay with me in the near future. I’m not sure this should be considered a classic album by any means, but instead, it works for now. Decent, but not memorable in a year or two.

Review by Olivier:
How do you follow a Back In Black? You simply aren’t able to but you have to forge ahead in any case. AC/DC‘s For Those About To Rock was for the most part a solid album with the title track a standout one but having to follow Back In Black meant that the record would never get its just due or simply pale in comparison. This is what has happened to Ammunition with their sophomore self-titled album, as the band has unfortunately had to follow up its stellar debut Shanghaied.

Ammunition is a solid album with a few very good tracks but it simply does not measure up to Shanghaied, which had stronger songs and some that still generate goose bumps on my arms (“Road To Babylon” in particular) to this day. If Ammunition was evaluated on its own without the tall shadow cast by Shanghaied, I might give it two thumbs up. However, when compared to Shanghaied, Ammunition seems to fall short a little bit not meeting my lofty expectations set by the former. That being said, Ammunition is still a good album an may even have an outside shot at cracking the top 10 for best album of the year.

What is missing you may say? There are definitely some catchy and easy to get into songs on Ammunition like the first single “Wrecking Crew” with its cool and somewhat innovative whistling portion, the rocking “Bad Bones” and to a lesser extent “Freedom Fighter.” Every song on Ammunition except for the kind of lacklustre ballad “Miss Summertime” is at least a decent one to a solid track but there are just fewer standout moments than on Shanghaied.  At the end of the day, anytime that you have the multi-talented producer, song composer and guitarist Erik Mårtensson combining forces with one of the best singers of all time — Åge Sten Nilsen — chances are that the results will be worth listening to and that definitely is the case for Ammunition.

Ammunition are now their own worst enemy. They have set the bar very high with their debut album Shanghaied, and fairly or unfairly, everyone of their subsequent records will likely be compared to that magnum opus of a record. While Ammunition may not be able to reach the heights of their debut each time such as on their sophomore self-titled record, it will still be fun to see whether they can do it and the album Ammunition is still a fun and enjoyable record to listen to.

Track List:
01. Time
02. Freedom Finder
03. Virtual Reality Boy
04. Gung Ho (I Told You So)
05. Eye For An Eye
06. Tear Your City Down
07. Caveman
08. Wrecking Crew
09. Miss Summertime
10. Bad Bones
11. Klondike

Band Members:
Erik Mårtensson – guitars
Victor Cito – bass
Åge Sten Nilsen – vocals
Lasse Finbråthen – keys
Jon Pettersen – guitars
Magnus Ulfstedt – drums

Produced, mixed and mastered by Erik Mårtensson

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Metal Mike and Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, June 2018

Ammunition‘s “Freedom Finder” video:

Ammunition – “Freedom Finder” (Official Video)

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Ammunition‘s “Wrecking Crew” video:

Ammunition – Wrecking Crew (Official Video)

Vote for Ammunition in the Norwegian ESC Finale (Melodi Grand Prix), March 11th. “Wrecking Crew” out now! ► Stream or download from your preferred service: …

Ammunition‘s “Gung Ho (I Told You So)” song:

Ammunition – “Gung Ho (I Told You So)” (Official Audio)

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