Newest Review: ... worthless. For fans of old-school Bolt Thrower, the 'Cenotaph' material is going to be the most impressive here, displaying greater re... more
A Monument to War's Terminal Conclusion
Who Dares Wins - Bolt Thrower
Member Name: Frankingsteins
Who Dares Wins - Bolt Thrower
Advantages: Affordable chance to hear early material, showcasing different eras of the band.
Disadvantages: Becomes dull after the first E.P., and live recording is shoddy.
It's telling that Earache Records supplied fans with a compilation focusing on the band's early, more successful days at a time when the contemporary studio album 'Mercenary' seemed indicative of a band past its prime. The ten songs here collect the entirety of the 'Cenotaph' and 'Spearhead' EPs from 1991 and 1992, which demonstrate a greater variety and progression within the space of a single year than Bolt Thrower would achieve in the rest of their career to date. The final two songs are taken from Earache's 'Rareache' compilation, and are comparatively worthless.
For fans of old-school Bolt Thrower, the 'Cenotaph' material is going to be the most impressive here, displaying greater refinement than their dingy, grind-influenced albums of the late eighties as the band moves towards the cleaner sound that characterised 'War Master.' This catches Bolt Thrower's music before it slowed considerably, and 'Destructive Infinity' makes effective use of slow guitar sections in the intro at a time when this wasn't merely the normal order of things. The only downside here is the live recording of the normally excellent 'Realm of Chaos,' which is absolutely terrible; the sound quality is so fuzzy and indistinct, you can hardly hear the band at all, let alone make out individual riffs. It's surprising this was ever included to bulk out the E.P. in the first place.
After this point the collection becomes a lot less interesting, but still possesses the band's distinct and talented sound. The extended edit of 'Spearhead' is ridiculously dull at eight minutes in length, but the other songs are all quite enjoyable, even if the groove riffs become a little repetitive by the time of the heavily guitar-based 'Lament.' 'Overlord' is too slow and 'World Eater '94' features some nice melodic guitar work but is still inferior to the original, making for an average, if unexciting compilation that at least provides an affordable means to acquiring otherwise rare material. It's a shame the extra effort wasn't put in to make this truly comprehensive, featuring the exclusive song from the 1989 split release with other death metal bands or even some earlier demo material, but perhaps it's for the best; there's a reason many death metal albums are kept to a strict thirty minutes.
2. Destructive Infinity
3. Prophet of Hatred
4. Realm of Chaos (Live)
5. Spearhead (Extended Remix)
6. Crown of Life
7. Dying Creed
9. World Eater '94
Summary: Compilation (1999).