The reservoir of new Swedish Metal bands seems to be just endless. Hot on the trails of High Roller recording artists Dead Lord, Humbucker and Heavy Tiger there is Ambush.
Oskar Jacobsson (vocals), Olof Engkvist (guitars), Adam Hagelin (guitars), Ludwig Sj-holm (bass) and Linus Fritzson (drums) have all played in other bands before Ambush. "We were a close gang of friends so it felt natural to play together when the opportunity presented itself," remarks drummer Linus.
In August 2013, Ambush issued their first demo tape (forming the basis for their deal with High Roller Records). The band's first 7" single "Natural born Killers" (with Heading East" on the B-Side), was released earlier this year on High Roller. Both tracks are also to be found on the "Firestorm" debut album (along with seven brand new compositions). "The two tracks from the single sum up the feel and the sound of our first album very well indeed. We think it's a very strong effort and these two particular songs give you a great idea of what Ambush are all about," reckons Linus. "On the album we decided to work with a different producer. Although we were not disappointed with the sound on the single, we felt that the album deserved a bigger production. We are happy with all of the tracks on the album. We believe that we have several other songs that can also be signature ones."
Stylistically, Ambush are not miles away from current Swedish bands like RAM and Enforcer but they're far from being mere copycats as Linus explains: "They are both great bands with similarities to our music but we try to keep our style and sound as pure and unique as possible. We play our heavy metal hard, raw, melodic and with a touch of evil. The primary influence comes from early 1980's heavy metal (and of course there are no synthesizers). We're going to stay true to the traditional heavy metal. That's the way it is. But in the same way it's very important for us that we have a personal sound. Variety on a record is of course necessary, otherwise it gets boring. We feel that we have succeeded to keep a balanced variety on the album."
Lyrics do not seem to be too important for many younger bands nowadays (sadly enough). Ambush are a big exception. "The lyrics on this album have been very important to us," says Linus. "Good heavy metal must have powerful lyrics with integrity to become interesting without being pretentious in any way. We usually like to get things straight, even though some of the lyrics on this album have some sense of deeper meaning to them. The song 'Molotov Cocktail' for example is a flashback from the eyes of a Finish soldier in the winter war against the Soviet Union back in 1939. Though heavily outnumbered, the Fins managed to stand up against the Russian troops. It was a manifestation of cunning and courageous military mentality that we found important to express. There certainly comes a price with provoking Finish people..."
"Heading East" off the single also has very interesting lyrics: "Russia is also involved in 'Heading East', but this incident time-warps back to Karl XII's invasion of Russia in the year 1708. This song is basically about the spirit of warfare and misery that comes with it. This tune might seem controversial since the political situation between Russia and the west is a bit unstable right now, but heavy metal is more important than politics."
With the strong "Firestorm" album behind them, Ambush are ready to conquer the metal world: "We believe in our potential, both as a band and as individuals, and it is important for us to stay true to ourselves. As a new group, one advantage against other bands is that all of us have been buddies since way back, and that we hang out every weekend. We know that we are heading in the right direction with this album, and having High Roller as a base for our music is of course helping a lot. However, our primary intention is to provide good fresh heavy metal to the scene. If the heavy metal maniacs like what we do, we are more than happy to sell them our records and to tour their beautiful countries."
Linus is very diplomatic when asked about his opinion on the new In Solitude album "Sister". Just like Ambush, In Solitude started out as a hopeful young metal band on High Roller. With "Sister" some critics are of the opinion that they have turned their backs on the metal scene already: "We can relate to In Solitude as a good band with both integrity and serious intentions. Anyhow, we don't want to judge how other bands should write or play their music. As long as bands play good heavy metal we give them a cheer."