Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hellbastard : "Feral"

Hellbastard features appearances from ex- members of Amebix so I suppose I'll have to watch what I write since members of Amebix have gotten butt hurt over things I have said about side projects. This is was more metal than the side project which shall not be named. There is a slight Motorhead tinge to the vocals, though they get really fucking cool around the chorus, when drenched in effects and set back into the mix. Otherwise it gets off to a pretty thrashing start. This takes you back to that place in the 80s where metal and punk met. The guitars and the drums fit tightly together to pack a dense punch into these riff. The lyrics are more punk and have sharp sense of humor to them. What the vocals might lack in range they make up for in attitude. This album is well produced and everything sit right where it needs to. Some of the riffing might be a little more straight forward than what I listen to now, but this is right in line with some of the more on the fringe thrash that I listened to as a teenager.

Things get more melodic on "We Are Coven". The bass player begins to step out of the shadows on this song. The guitar solos are well placed. At eight minutes the songs finds it's way into a taunt groove. At about five minutes into this one , I realize how my tastes have changed since the teen years and I can hear where it might have gotten to stiff for me now until they bust into a heavier riff. This song is as sample as any industrial band, which is fine by me. "Shame On Us" busts out thrash of a similar vein and by this point this album is reminding me a little of Angkor Wat. They keep winning my inner teenage over with riffs so tough they can't be denied. The riffs possess an attack not unlike some of S.O.D's more focused work.

"And the Point of Your Being?" put me at a place where I had to say ok you guys got the thrash thing down what else can you do. So they let the bass drive the song more. They catch a more 90s groove on "Wychcraft". This song finds Rob Miller joining in. The main vocal spits it out in almost a rap like manner. They slow down on the chorus of "Social Hand Grenade" to give the song more dynamics. They still continue to hold my attention and interest even with their straight ahead riffing. The melodic side continues to flourish on "4-Paws". The song is about their dead cat. "Engineering Human Consciousness" runs on convincing anger, but is the only song that feels a little like filler to me."All Our Sorrows" is more of an outro than a stand alone song.

This is a pretty solid album. If you want some punk infused thrash with melody and atmosphere around the edges then this is the album for you. I'll give it a 9. It is one of those albums that you can pretty much leave playing if you are in a metal mood and it won't get old. It might not be as perfect as say "Master of Puppets" or "Among the Living", but it blows away the bulk of todays less inspired metal.

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