Friday, August 12, 2016

Hobb's Angel of Death : "Heaven Bled"

Peter Hobbs has been around since the late 80's. He has developed a cult following  of devotees either stuck in a time warp or too young to have never caught this era of thrash the first time around. He does a pretty good job of recreating it. The double bass drumming on this album is on point and the riffing it pretty tight. There are moments when things do get a little rough around the edges, like the cymbal sound. The guitar solos are more memorable than the rather monotone bark of the vocals. There is more of a frenzy on the rapid intro to " Walk My Path" . About two minutes in it slows so you can soak in the guitar solo. By the second song I have already realized this is a guitar players album. While this is very skillfully executed, I find myself at a loss in regards to figuring out what the big deal about this guy is. Is he doing anything that a band like Dark Angel hasn't already done better ?

"Final Feast" goes in a more subtle direction for it's intro. But the thrashing always returns. Lyrically it sounds like Manowar songs written from prison. The vocals are more shouted with a constipated grit. The blazing riffs don't stop with " Suicide". What hits this album hard is the rule we have around here..."cool riffs alone do not make a good song". Aside from the drumming and guitar solos that is about all the have going for them. "Suicide" has a more punk energy, but it doesn't do much for me. There is a Kerry King whammy dive bomb that goes down a few times on this song, which should not surprise fans of this band who more than likely place Slayer head of this guy as their favorite band. So they won't care about all the moment that sound like "Chemical Warfare".

By the time we get to "Drawn and Quartered" the album is beginning to feel tedious, so it's a good thing they drop down into more of a Scorpions still riff before blasting off again. I think half of what annoys me is the fact the vocals are spit out the same way on every song. So having a low bar when it comes to vocals is a requirement when it comes to these guys. Unfortunately for these guys that's the first thing I listen for. The double bass kicks it up a notch when the guitar solo comes in and that's the highlight of the song. The fetish for double bass is what gives the songs a very uniform drive. From what I remember from the days thrash came out, it there were mosh grooves and moments where other things were thrown at you aside from just speed.  The title track as a few good riffs, but not enough to add up into making it a memorable song.The more feral punch of "Sadistic Domination", which is an ode to sluts from what I can make out of the manic lyrics. I like this song, so it goes to show I'm not for the more punk side of thrash if it's done right. The first single off the album is "Son of God" that you can check out below. It's a very Slayer like affair. The way he mumbles out the lyrics makes me think a little more of the first Cro-mags album. It's about time for something slower, though "Depopulation" goes to show they can't hit anything much slower than a Venom riff. There is another calm before the storm at the onset of "TMMF". They do hit one of those slower moshy doom like riffs on this song elevating above most of the album's other offerings. There is also a heavier more deliberate riff that opens up "Hypocrites", It alternates between the fast as hell Slayer thrash and the more powerful punch. This is an improvement. However at two and a half minutes I begin to wonder what is going to happen for the other four minutes of this song. The answer is a guitar solo eats into the bulk of the time, the rest of the song is hobbs ranting about his resentments with born again christians who he is going to return and kill. He keeps it nasty with his declarations into regard to the whore's cunt "Abomination" drips out of. His delivery here reminds me more of Venom. I'll give this album a 7.5, it gets better, but half way in I wondered why I was not just listening to "Hell Awaits". If you are a fan then you expectations in regards to music in general is lower than mine so you'll love it.This album sees the light of day October 16th thanks to Hells Headbangers.

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