|Review: Artch - Another Return|
Label: Hammerheart Records
Year released: 2023
Originally released in: 1988
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: April 8, 2023
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)
Artch are one of those perpetual almost-bands. I remember this was an album I wanted to get back when it was new, and I just never could find it anywhere. It’s been rereleased a dozen times by different labels over the years, and yet it never seems to garner much attention. Some of it is just bad timing, as this came out right when the Thrash wave was cresting and Death Metal was getting traction, so the classic US-Metal style of this album was a bit out of date by the time it came out.
Even though this is a Norwegian band, the sound is very American. I am reminded of bands like Cloven Hoof or Liege Lord when I listen to this, along with the inevitable Maiden comparisons which mostly derive from the sound of singer Erik Hawk, who sounds more than a bit like Bruce Dickinson. This is a remaster, and the recording is still not that great. I think the real reason this never got much notice it the fact that it’s just kind of bland. The riffs are decent, the vocals are good, but the songwriting never really picks up and goes anywhere, it’s just predictable and rote, and while almost any part of it sounds perfectly decent, it doesn’t grab you and you don’t remember it afterward. (It also has to be pointed out that some of the lyrics on here are absolutely embarrassingly bad.) I think this garnered a rep as some kind of lost classic because it was obscure, and it has all the elements of a good album, but it can’t really seem to put them together. I listen to this and I think it should be better than it is, but sadly it isn’t.
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