22 Years Ago: BOLT THROWER release …for Victory (MTV feature during recording at Sawmills Studio)

Released on this day in 1994, BOLT THROWER’s fifth LP.

This MTV feature was filmed during recording at Sawmills Studio on the river Fowey in Cornwall. Most of the band are interviewed and it includes samples of several unfinished songs (only rhythm guitar and drums had been recorded).

This was a hard album for me. We didn’t have a lot of time to rehearse the songs, I remember it took me a week to record the drums. After the first day my legs were in agony, and I had to push through the pain barrier to get the tracks done. I was glad though that album’s production was amazing. I’d have to say it was the time for me where we stopped being a band, and became 5 people who played in a band together. I think we all loved playing in Bolt Thrower, but had different ideas of what we wanted to do. It was a hard time for us.
– Andy Whale / Bolt Thrower interview, Tough Riffs Magazine

The cover title was to suggest that these soldiers would give up all the rest of their dawns on earth for victory. So by leaving the title as “…For Victory” it was asking “what would you do for victory within your life ?”.

27 Years Ago: Last night of the Grindcrusher tour (Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Carcass)

The 7 day Grindcrusher tour ended at London’s Kilburn National on this day in 1989. A pound extra to-night, £6.50 (subject to booking fee).

Various piece of footage exist, including the BBC’s Arena ND footage for their Heavy Metal special:

There are fan recordings of complete NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS and MORBID ANGEL sets. BOLT THROWER was not as easy to find, but you can at least hear a recording of “Realm of Chaos” from this gig on the Cenotaph EP.




27 Years Ago: BOLT THROWER release Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness

Earlier in October we posted the live recording of “Realm of Chaos” a day after it was written! A year later, on this day in 1989, BOLT THROWER released Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness on Earache.

Well, Games Workshop actually approached us [before] we signed the contract with Vinyl Solution, our first record label…they said they’d be interested in having us on their sort of label, they didn’t actually have a label, but they wanted to make one to tie into their products, and they wanted to put out an animation sort of thing with us doing the soundtrack and all this sort of stuff. It was all like good ideas and everything. But the guy who wanted us to do all this was a fan of ours and he actually owned the company, but he sold it, and soon after we’d done the cover with Earache, because Earache came in and said ‘no, we wanna put you out,’ which we thought was better for the band as a whole, so we worked in joint collaboration with Games Workshop and Earache. And soon after that album was released, the managing director sold the company, he was the one who used to like us, he sold the company and then fuckin hell, we were dealing with accountants, not people. Then it was, ‘oh no, you can’t use this artwork, it’s gonna cost you this much,’ and all this bullshit. So we just thought well fuck it, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, seeya. We didn’t work with them ever again.
– Barry Thomson / Bolt Thrower interview, Chambers of Sorrow zine 1995



28 Years Ago: BOLT THROWER live in Birmingham (first time playing Realms of Chaos)

This is a new one we just worked out yesterday, haven’t got any lyrics yet… haven’t really got a title for it either… it’s called… whatever… OK, it’s called The Realms of Chaos, yeah, why not!

A day after they had finished writing the music for what would become the title track to their second LP! BOLT THROWER live at the Kaleidoscope, Birmingham on this day in 1988.

This is a new one we just worked out yesterday, haven’t got any lyrics yet but… I’ll do some Napalm Death grunts over the top alright? OK… Haven’t really got a title for it either, so let’s do it!
It’s called… whatever… OK, it’s called The Realms of Chaos, yeah, why not!

26 Years Ago: BOLT THROWER record their third and final John Peel session

I miss John Peel a lot. He was a total legend and I feel so fortunate to have been part of the Peel Sessions history. There are not many people who you can say changed your life, but for me John Peel is definitely one of them. A few days before he died I had a dream about him, I thought ‘damn, I should send him some stuff and say thanks for everything’. Unfortunately I never got to do that and I still haven’t forgiven myself. Never has anyone before or since him done so much for new music. RIP John.
– Jo Bench, Metal Chaos

BOLT THROWER recorded their third and final Peel session on this day in 1990 at the BBC’s Maida Vale 3.

Four songs were recorded, three of them previewing the next LP War Master which would be released in a few months (early ’91). The last song was from Realm of Chaos, released at the end of the previous year (October ’89).

Destructive Infinity, Warmaster, After Life, Lost Souls’ Domain

Karl Willets (Vocals), Jo Bench (Bass), Andy Whale (Drums), Gav Ward (Guitar), Baz Thomson (Guitar)

Dale Griffin (Producer, Mike Engles (Engineer), Fred Kay (Engineer)

The session aired on Tuesday 4 September 1990.


There were several other death / grind bands recording sessions that year – amid some of the shoegaze and independent music from bands like the Breeders, Cranes, Ride (#3 on the Festive 50 that year) and Swervedriver – including CARCASS, NAPALM DEATH, FILTHKICK, DEVIATED INSTINCT, and EXTREME NOISE TERROR.

The sessions have been released several times over the years:
Strange Fruit (label formed by John Peel with record exec Clive Selwood) released the first session as a 12″ in 1988, then a CD of all three sessions in 1991. Earache released a 3cd collection of label-related sessions, including the BOLT THROWER three, in 2009.

28 Years Ago: BOLT THROWER release In Battle There is No Law (Early Band History)

Total possession of the atmosphere!

After receiving the Concession of Pain demo (September 1987), John Peel arranged for a session. They recorded 4 songs on 3 January 1988: Forgotten Existence, Attack In The Aftermath, Psychological Warfare, In Battle There Is No Law.

The session was broadcast on Wednesday 10 days later, sharing the session segments with McCarthy.

Vinyl Solution contacted the band after hearing the Peel show and they agreed a one-album deal. Vinyl Solution was the label run by/from the London shop of the same name. You can read some of the history of the shop (last located on Portobello Road) here. They released a diverse catalogue from dance music to punk (POISON IDEA) and death metal (CANCER).

In Battle… was recorded at Loco Studios in Llanhennock, South Wales. The recording was mixed without their knowledge or content and released on this day in 1988. Less than a year after the demo and only 5 months after the Peel session.

Buy In Battle There is No Law on Vinyl at the distro

It suggests the mixing issue wasn’t the fault of the studio as BOLT THROWER returned to Loco in April the next year to record Realm of Chaos for Earache.

Birmingham’s CEREBRAL FIX were recording around the same time as BOLT THROWER In Battle There is No Law. They recorded Life Sucks… and Then You Die at the same studio, released it on the same label and then toured with BOLT THROWER in support of their albums! They also had some exposure on Peels R1 programme.