Just Before Dawn
A War Too Far

After 3 years, countless singles, EPs, and compilations former Amon Amarth and Blood Mortized guitarist Anders Biazzi and his cohorts are finally back with a full-length album (number 5) to follow up 2020s An Army at Dawn, one of the better Bolt Thrower worshiping albums of the last few years.

But there are a few changes. First, Biazzi has switched from WWII to Vietnam for this album’s theme. and second, is that after a career of pure Bolt Thrower worship, Biazzi has dipped into his other former band, Amon Amarth for a little more influence. Sure, the majority of the material still has an unmistakable, somber Bolt Thrower trundle, but on A War Too Far, there’s is a distinct injection of more Amon Amarth-ish chugs and canter as well (i.e. “Innocence Lost”, “Phase Line Green”).

What remains is that Biazzi is still surrounded by his former Blood Mortized and current Gods Forsaken drummer Gustav Myrin and drummer Jon Rudin ( Heads for the Dead, Massacre),  and as with almost all his JBD releases he’s got a whole new army of guests delivering vocals and solos: David Kreft of Graceless provides most of the vocals, but he’s aided by Damien Terry (Grimner), Filip Fougstedt (Creeping Flesh),  Sebastian Gustavsson (Envig) and Matias Nastolin (Decaying) all delivering an array of Martin Van Drunen and Karl Willets sounding howls, barks and growls. Lead solo guests are mainly by Daniel Gustavson (Tormention) but the title track features none other than James Murphy of Death/Obituary/Discarnate fame. And the deeply historical lyrics are provided by Therion’s Per Albinsson.

And this results in an album that is pretty consistent with all the project’s extensive past materials. A lumbering, buzzsaw of massive grooves and somber trots that deliver all the war-mongering, historical death metal you can handle, wrapped in a killer, paint-peeling production/master from Biazzi and Rudin.

It’s not groundbreaking or genre-defining death metal by any means, but neither are the band’s clear influences. But the artillery salvos hit hard and keep hitting hard for 45 minutes. Standouts in the 9 beefy tracks are the opener “Innocence Lost”, with a nifty, clever little groove, the title track with Murphy’s unmistakable, extended lead solo, and the closer “When Sanity Cracks” with a subtle choral/chant in the background that imbues the sadness of war perfectly.

Ill be interested to see if Biazzi and his battalion stick with Vietnam for a while or if they find another conflict to focus their attack on. Either way, I’m sure it will be awesome as all JBD releases have been.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 18th, 2023

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