While I’d normally not bother with reviewing a single release here, ARTILLERY is one of Denmark’s greatest musical contributions to the world of metal, another being MERCYFUL FATE, and another not being Lars Ulrich. But that’s another story. ARTILLERY is also one of the first heavier bands I discovered on my own, “liberating” Metal Mania magazine off the rack at the grocer’s in Alabama in the mid-‘80s under my denim jacket, which I didn’t realize was already part of the metal “uniform”. The pic of the band beside the Terror Squad write-up had the brothers Stützer & co. brandishing firearms, pointing them at each other and themselves, and I, my friend, was sold. Ah, those were the days…

With the passing of founding bassist-turned-guitarist Morten Stützer last year, the band has decided to pay tribute with this single which, coincidentally, features the two longest-serving former vocalists of the band on the A-Side. The tandem work of Søren Adamsen and Flemming Rønsdorf is at the fore from the start here, each playing off the other well in the way that Axl Rose (back when he mattered) and Shannon Hoon did in ‘Don’t Cry’. A bit of late ‘80s SCORPIONS can be heard, and I’m the last to give sympathy to a bad song about a heartfelt situation, but ARTILLERY nails it here, the anthemic chorus far from the chop ‘n’ churn of the Danes’ more speed oriented work, but memorable, which was the intent. Of special note regarding The Last Journey is the debut of Kræn Meier, who has stepped up admirably to join Morten’s brother, Michael, on guitar. Not an easy task, to be sure.

The B-Side of The Last Journey caught me at the right time, having recently decided that A) I do have a favorite METALLICA album and B) It’s Ride The Lightning. While nothing will touch the original, ARTILLERY doesn’t try to, definitely making this version its own in the process.

In all, what we have is a fitting tribute to a fallen friend and brother to the band, and an early – might I add, underrated – soldier of metal. And that’s all it was supposed to be.
Review By: Lord Randall

The Last Journey  [Single]
Metal Blade
4 / 6