Ambush – Infidel Review

[Cover Art by Alexander von Wieding]

The long-established military tactic of the ambush is one that relies on the element of surprise. It also relies on your ability to draw the enemy into your trap so that you may ambush them by jumping out from behind the copy machine with a can of whipped cream that you spray in their face while screaming “FILE THAT UNDER OWNED, YOU IDIOT.” So your joy at seeing your enemy smited by whipped cream took careful planning, an amazing amount of patience and some light pain in your knees while squatting in your hiding spot before springing to victory.

Now in their seventh year of existence, about to release their third LP, Ambush isn’t going to surprise anyone. If you didn’t already have an idea for who they are and what they do, then where have you been? The Last Rites staff has been telling you about this band for some time now. Hell, they even made our best of list back in 2014 with their debut Firestorm. As Cap pointed out in his personal list, there are loads of bands out there ripping that early Dokken sound, but Ambush is, or at least was, the absolute betterest at it.

Release date: March 13th, 2020. Label: High Roller Records
Tracks like the sixth ripper on this album, “The Demon Within,” are great examples of why you will continuously go back to this album for the sole purpose of bringing you unending joy, as if an angel was rubbing your belly with warm Bengay. Enforcer-like riffs open the track with the fire and fury of roll-on IcyHot. The vocals begin in the tenor range; full of pomp and vibrato. The chorus brings vocal explosion as Jacobsson soars into his higher ranges with bluesy wonder, dragging the band along behind him. There are gang-shouted vocals mixed throughout the subtly-layered vocals, so feel free to join in. And, as on all tracks, harmonized guitar work precedes the descent into soloing frenzy. Tapping, whammy bars and trills dominate this particular solo, but you’ll find all sorts of styles on this album as these boys point their axes in your face and shred.

Otherwhere, tracks like “Yperite” take on a more staccato attack reminiscent of Accept. The track takes a very “kick-snare” approach to rhythm, allowing the riffs to breathe and the fists to pump. The vocals contrast the staccato-ness with flowing vocal lines that lead perfectly into the harmony-drenched chorus. The breakdown becomes a slow buildup to the firework finish of this lil burner. The solo tacked onto the end of the track might be one of the best on the album, as melody and flashy skill combine to form a truly memorable moment. If you own a trampoline, or if you recently received a trampoline courtesy of a tornado, then I recommend you put this song on and do some flips on that there trampoline.

While these two tracks represent different methods, all the tracks on Infidel are Ambush-style in that they feature varying vocal deliveries, super fun riffs, bouncing rhythms and superb guitar licks. (Note: Due to Coronavirus, we do not recommend licking guitars, unless they have been sanitized first.)

Ambush is a crew that certainly benefits from the digitally crisp production on Infidel. But being masters of their riff craft, they certainly don’t need gadgets and gizmos to make them sound this polished—just sweet, sweet headbands. They are a band that continues to produce similar levels of throwback heavy metal. I mean, just look at the similarity of their cover art. This is a band that is secure in who they are, and they are ready to deliver the furious power of heavy metal untoeth your head and ass.

So, sure, you’re not getting whipped cream sprayed in your face. It’s not going to be that kind of ambush party. You might get some soap and foam residue on the bottom of your pants, though. And you’ll have a great time doing so. You can sing along with the gang-shouted vocals in the background, or you can squeal the stratospheric lead vocals of Oskar Jacobsson. Or, you can just air guitar in your automobile at a red light. Any way you slice it, your fun times will be infinitely enhanced by Ambush and the inclusion of a brightly-colored sweatband. Trust us, you’re gonna need it.

* totally sick air guitar solo into fadeout as I ride away in the distance on a motorcycle with the wings of an eagle and then soar off into the sun *

Posted by Manny-O-War

Infinitely committed to the expansion of artistic horizons. Very interested in hearing your grandparent's anecdotes & recipes. @mannyowar

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