By Dr. Abner Mality

Some sharp Swedish steel here courtesy of AMBUSH. There’s no doubt that a return to traditional metal and NWOBHM-style material is one of the hottest trends in metal right now and AMBUSH are surely a part of that. With so many bands trying their hands at this style, it becomes harder and harder for them to stand out. On “Infidel”, AMBUSH try mixing that traditional sound with something a lot like European power metal. The result is generally pleasing, if not hugely ground-breaking.

This is a sharp and clean sounding effort. No deliberate muddiness or trying to sound like a demo from 1984. The vocals of Oskar Jacobsson are also clean and melodic. The band strikes with the tuneful speed metal of the title track, but following song “Yperite” is more bouncing and commercial, like a more upbeat PRIEST or ACCEPT track. They really do that bouncy sound well...”Hellbiter” is an even better example.

The second half of the album starts to show more of the modern power metal influences. “Iron Helm of War” and “Lust For Blood” have a kind of HAMMERFALL feel without falling into mimicry. The album stays at a high level of power and effectiveness, but it never really crosses the border into the realm of a true classic. If you’re trying to find a path through the overcrowded forest of trad/speed metal, AMBUSH is a name to keep in mind.