Longtime BOLT THROWER drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns passed away this past Monday, September 14, 2015. While his passing was sudden, he did not suffer. Here is the band’s official statement:
“With the heaviest of hearts, and still numb from shock, we have to share the very sad news that on Monday 14th September Bolt Thrower lost our powerhouse drummer, Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns.
“After the first rehearsal for our upcoming tour of Australia, Kiddie suddenly felt unwell which continued throughout the night, and the next day he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
“He was a fantastic Dad, husband, son, friend, but to us he was always ‘Kiddie’, the same 17 year old Coventry kid whose drumming style and personality blew us away when he first walked into our rehearsal room 20+ years ago.
“Kiddie enriched our lives, and the Bolt Thrower sound. He leaves a massive hole in the lives of everyone who knew him and will be very sorely missed by many.
“Karl, Jo, Baz, Gav & the loyal BT crew”
Much respect goes out to Martin Kearns. Here’s footage of the band performing this year in London.
In an age where death metal seems to be defined by who the fastest, most technical band is, it’s cool to hear a group sit out the tech-shred olympics and focus on what really counts–writing catchy, heavy songs. Leave it to Martin Van Drunen (PESTILENCE, ASPHYX, BOLT THROWER) to show the new school punks how it’s done with his new heavy-as-a-tank band, HAIL OF BULLETS. Joining Martin in his onslaught is most of THANATOS handling the strings and GOREFEST‘s Ed Warby on drums. Ambitiously enough, the Dutch death squad’s debut, a 13-track crusher, Of Frost and War, is a concept album chronicling the Eastern front offensive between the Germans and Russians during World War II . “Before the Storm” sets the stage with ominous keys, setting a somber tone. But from “Ordered Eastward” through the final track “Berlin,” it’s all business. “Ordered Eastward” provides maximum buzzsaw riffage and drum pounding, before Van Drunen‘s unmistakable hoarse growls pierce the speakers. The song arrives at an absolutley crushing mid-section replete with powerful guitar harmonies and some guest vocal spice from Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, BLOODBATH). “The Lake Lagoda Massacre” and “General Winter” both counter with doom-beyond-death sludge before kicking in with an AUTOPSY vs. ASPHYX vs. MASSACRE battle of old school riffs. “Advancing once More” and “Nachthexen” meanwhile, unleash a firestorm of thunderous rhythms. “Insanity Commands” on the other hand alternates between an atmosphere of slow, impending doom and furious, headbanging groove. Of Frost and War is a rock-solid hammer of an album, devoid of nonsense and pointless noodling .It’s heavy, mean and ugly everything a real death metal record should be. (Metal Blade Records)