Dust Bolt

Never underestimate the dedication of the diehard. 

Formed in 2007 in Bavaria, Germany, DUST BOLT have been resolute and ruthless in their pursuit of metal glory over the last 16 years. Childhood friends with a collective passion for metal in all its various forms, the quartet led by vocalist/frontman Lenny Bruce have established themselves as one of Europe’s leading thrash metal bands. Across four acclaimed studio albums – Violent Demolition (2012), Awake The Riot (2014), Mass Confusion (2016) and Trapped In Chaos  (2019) – and countless intense and celebratory live shows, Dust Bolt have paid their dues and earned the respect of an ever-expanding army of fans in the process. For those eager to predict the future, Dust Bolt have looked like heavyweight contenders for a long time, but the truth is that the band have only just started their heavy metal mission.

In 2024, the Germans will release their fifth album, Sound & Fury: an album that refines and noisily redefines the Dust Bolt sound for a new era. Written during those isolated months of pandemic lockdown, the new record represents the peak of the band’s creativity, and a major leap forward in every department. The first Dust Bolt record to feature new bassist Tom Liebing, alongside Lenny Bruce, guitarist Florian Dehn and drummer Nico Remann, Sound & Fury grew from a long period of self-reflection that began when the world shut down.“We’ve been doing this band since we were kids,” he states.

“We did our first European tour when we were 17 and ever since, we just pushed it. We lived together, we rehearsed six times a week, and it was all about the band, all of the time. But we realised after Trapped In Chaos that everything is getting a little bit more complicated now we’re older. And then the pandemic happened and it felt like a good time to take a break and reassess everything.”As Dust Bolt’s chief songwriter, Lenny was newly motivated to breathe fresh fire into his band’s whole creative process. Entrenched in his own studio, the frontman dug deep to find some new inspiration.“I started to make music even more than before,” he recalls. “I started to produce in the studio, started learning how to record, worked with some other bands, and did some musical projects with other people. After a year, we all hung out and I was like, ‘Hey, I got some songs that are definitely Dust Bolt songs! They sound different but they need to be on a DB record!’ Things just came together. We have a studio, but we didn’t have any money or a label, so I decided to record it myself. We had nothing, but fuck it, we just decided to do it by ourselves.”The end result of this admirable DIY crusade is Sound & Fury – the fifth and most fascinating Dust Bolt album yet. Although still rooted in thrash and old school metal, the new record adds dazzling colour and diversity to the band’s trademark sound. With pummelling grooves, spine-tingling dynamics and a startling, part-melodic vocal performance from Lenny Bruce, new songs like album opener Leave Nothing Behind and I Am The One mark the beginning of a new era of Dust Bolt destruction.

 

Simultaneously catchier than any previous record and grittier and heavier than before, Sound & Fury is the sound of a great band realising their full potential.“Absolutely, it’s a natural evolution,” says Lenny. “We’ve expanded but we haven’t changed. We felt like we got the label of being a thrash metal band, and it was restrictive. We couldn’t do certain things because they wouldn’t be considered thrash! But it was a good time, during the pandemic, because there was no media, no press, and I didn’t check emails and stuff, so we were free. I would write a riff and I didn’t care if it was thrash metal or not. It was a good time to really find out who I am as a guitar player and as a singer, and I took the time to really find it out and then we made the record.

So there is a change in style, but it’s 100 percent us, perhaps more than ever.”As with its four predecessors, Sound & Fury offers a sustained avalanche of riffs and numerous moments of skull-crushing heaviness. But the real revelation is that Lenny has discovered a melodic side to his voice that gives Dust Bolt’s new songs a completely fresh and invigorating feel. Exploring the possibilities of his voice, while maintaining the ferocity that fans have come to expect over the year, this bold move proved to be the final piece of the puzzle that Dust Bolt had been searching for.“I always wanted to be a singer but I never did it for Dust Bolt, because that was a highly aggressive, pissed off screaming thing,” grins Lenny. “It’s a personal evolution for me. Suddenly I decided to just do it, ‘I’m gonna sing!’ [Laughs] We knew that when the band comes together in the rehearsal room, it’s going to be aggressive and thrashy anyway because that’s how we are when we make music together, but this is the voice that I always wanted to use.”Free from label demands and the prying eyes of the media, Dust Bolt created Sound & Fury with no distractions or interference. Importantly, Lenny decided to record and produce the album himself, with a little help from some highly skilled friends (and generous relatives).“We didn’t have any plan, except for believing in ourselves. We got some money from our guitarist’s grandma, so we could get started and record the drums. Once I had the drums, I found a guy that has a small studio, just a few metres from my apartment in Munich. He started helping me, and that’s how we produced the album. We spent 60 or 70 days last summer, just freaking out on this thing. Then we went to another guy in Berlin, Moritz Enders, to mix and master it. He mixes analogue, really old school. I sent him the unmixed record and asked him if it was something he'd be interested in, and he said, ‘Finally! Fuck yeah, thank you!’ because he’d been waiting to do a metal record forever!”

Triumphant in their quest to complete the new record on their own terms, Dust Bolt hit new heights of intensity and verve on Sound & Fury. Songs like Burning Pieces and Love & Reality retain all the viciousness of previous albums, but without the restrictions of any particular metal subgenre. Instead, it is a brave, groove-powered and emotionally supercharged piece of work, fuelled by a heartfelt need to progress and push the boundaries. It is also, in lyrical terms, a much more raw, honest and thoughtful affair, as Lenny delves into his own personal experience to tangle with some undeniable, universal truths.“We’ve been friends since we were 12 years old and the only place we ever had to get out all our emotions was Dust Bolt,” he states. “That’s still true. Lyrics just happen. I’m always taking notes and writing stuff in my diary, so the songs are about those feelings, I guess.This album might sound a little different now and then, but we’ve been trying to find a space where our emotions can be free and not judged. You can scream when you want to scream, you can freak out, you can bang your head like crazy… that’s what metal is about, you know?”

Dust Bolt will return in 2024, armed with the finest album they have ever made, and a newfound sense of purpose. The making of Sound & Fury has clearly given the German four-piece a new lease of life, and subtly enhanced ambitions for the future. While most bands are content to be tethered to the usual music biz cycles, Dust Bolt have freed themselves and delivered a potential game-changing chunk of music. Still metal diehard to the bone, they have simply found a better and more life-affirming way to gets head banging. On this form, there will be no stopping them. “There’s so many good bands and great music still out there,” Lenny concludes. “We have to make the switch and show people that the next generations is here, and we did our homework for the last 15 years, being out on the road, eating dirt and having no money! We do this because we love it, and I think it’s time to have some younger people up there, taking things to another level. We want to build our own world, and this is the start. The only thing that matters in the end is the music.”

 



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