Posts Tagged ‘Blackened Thrash’

Hellripper - Coagulating Darkness

New Hellripper is front page news for me these days, and a brand new debut album is CAPITAL LETTERS news. This band have been kicking my ass for years now, and their debut is now upon us. More of the same catchy as hell blackened thrash chaos? Let’s hope so.

Opener ‘Bastard of Hades’ is that same, venomous Motorhead vibe that you’ve come to expect from Hellripper. Full throttle, energetic and raw but without losing any of that potent rock and roll base. ‘Annelise’ is more of the same, with lightning lead guitar lines flying from the frets while a propulsive drumming performance is frenetic. Rarely breaking a whipstrike speed, Hellripper tear through these eight tracks in no time, and the infectious melodies and awesome riffing demands you press repeat.

Be it the contagious ‘Black Invocation’ or the soloing frenzies of ‘Conduit Closing’, Hellripper have songs for the hardcore thrasher, the fan of the raw throat savagery and the hard rocker in us all. ‘Coagulating Darkness’ melts punkish attitude into Venom and Lemmy’s greatest riffs, then cranks the speed up 100% and lets fly. ‘From Hell’ alone is enough to sell this record to me, let alone the rest. This band forever embodies the sheer joy of heavy metal, and Hellripper deserve to get massive.

There’s very little subtlety about an album called ‘Demonic Satanic’ is there? Swedish death/black/thrashers Mordant are following in the footsteps of some of their more illustrious countrymen by taking the black metal blueprint and increasing the thrash and death metals elements to create a beast of a record that inspires vigorous headbanging. It dropped late last year on To The Death Records!

Opener ‘Vengeance from the Dark’ is a ripping example of savage riffery piling up with a nasty, rusted edge. The production is a little dry and thin, but it gives an edge to the guitarwork, now more piano wire than barbed wire. The exuberance with which these thrashing tracks are spat out of this riff machine is infectious, particularly the inspiringly great ‘Evil Impalers’. When you can feel the Sodom influence creeping into many riffs, you know you’re in for a treat.

‘Demonic Satanic’ shreds with prodigious force, be it the arse tearing ‘Desecration from Hell’, or the gloriously fast ‘Screaming Souls’. Mordant are a band with a great reverence for the history of not only their brethren in Nifelheim etc but also the genre itself. ‘Demonic Satanic’ is full of great nods to the past, but is a record that is as cutting edge as you can get. Melody meets savagery in this awesome record, and you’ll not be disappointed.

London based metallers Craven Idol have taken a very old school vibe for their second record, ‘The Shackles of Mammon’, where their blackened thrash sound meets the like of Bathory, Mercyful Fate and Venom in a cacophony of catchy as hell savagery. It is out in April through Dark Descent Records.

Opener ‘Pyromancer’ howls with maddening laughter and rapid fire soloing, while a resolutely old school thrash vibe propels us forward towards armageddon. Shrieking and growling in equal, gleeful abandon, vocalist  channels Cronos and the King. The gloomy grandeur of ‘A Ripping Strike’ builds with eastern melodies and percussive double kicks, before kicking in with more rapid fire riffing. What I really enjoy about Craven Idol is they don’t just feel like another copycat black/thrasher, but a proper NWOBHM band that filters their riffs through a grimy, tetanus laced filter.

That metaphor explains why their grim credentials are not lost when suddenly you feel totally absorbed in the melody and catchiness of ‘Hunger’, or the fierce gallop of ‘Dashed to Death’. This is a heavy metal band that happens to dabble in the extreme. A modern day Venom, except with better musicians and less originality. Craven Idol steal the crown of old school extremity, and their castle is built with the bones of the 80s. ‘The Shackles of Mammon’ is simply an excellent record full of damn good riffs and infectious songs, and we can all get involved with that.

Image of BASTARDIZER - 'Enforcers of Evil'. (Australian Blackened Thrash Cassette)

I just got a hold of the rerelease of Australian blackened thrashers Bastardizer’s ‘Enforcers of Evil’ from Carvetii Productions, on a brand new shiny cassette no less! It seems that, outside South America, Australia seem to do the whole Bathory/Venom/Celtic Frost axis worship a great deal of credit, and Bastardizer are no exception.

This is a truly raging slab of blackened thrash metal, with the ethos summed up pretty accurately in the killer opener ‘Bastard, Bullets, Bitches and Beer’. Almost entirely forgetting anything was invented after about 1983, taking the Venom blueprint and dragging it south of Heaven,c ranking up the intensity and increasing the rawness tenfold. The savagely catchy ‘Bathory and Lust’, the rampant title track and the rough and ready ‘WWIII’ are all tremendous tracks and pay tribute to the vibrancy of the Australian scene.

The awesome, early Sodom riffs that populate ‘Eureka’ crop up many times, with a grim Teutonic flair shredding through ‘Pentagram of Pleasure’. Bastardizer strap Motorhead to Sarcofago and see what happens. Turns out what happens is infectious, rabid thrashing black metal that doesn’t rely on gimmicks, controversy or fashion. There’s a shit ton of bands like this out there, but none come close to the filthy fun that you get on this record. I fucking love it, and so should you!

NNGNN - Forceful Blasphemy

NNGNN used to be called Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta, which was a bit of a mouthful to be honest, and so with their second EP release we’ve got the abbreviated version which, quite frankly, as a blogger I very much appreciate. I reviewed their last demo, the superbly entitled ‘Death by the Venomhammer’, and found it to be excellent, so the new material is hotly anticipated!

Opener and title track ‘Forceful Blasphemy’ instantly kicks us off with a scything riff that severs blood vessels with its single minded savagery. There feels like a channeling of classic Venom here; alongside a more traditional black metal assault there is definitely dashes of early Celtic Frost too. The riffs are sharp, relentless blasting provides the underpinning battery for the thrashy ‘Destruction of Ingrained Illusion’ which gallops like prime 80s thrash coated in black metal evilness. Closer ‘Abhorrent Foundations’ has some great dark thrash chugging riffs, and is a perfect example of the great guitarwork on display throughout all three tracks

NNGNN have evolved since their last release, and not just in name. There’s a bit more assurance about them now; a maturing swagger that allows them to straddle thrash, black and heavy metal easily without constricting themselves to one in particular. The EP benefits greatly from that, and steps away from going down the identikit blackened-thrash band road, instead turning them towards genuine, blackened heavy metal Valhalla. An excellent end of year present!


Abstruse Custody - Seeds from the Void

Canadian thrashers Abstruse Custody do what a lot of Canadian metal bands do, which is bend the genres a little bit on their debut record ‘Seeds from the Void’. A potent concoction of thrash, black metal and even some baroque classical influence appears too. Mixed by  Sébastien Robitaille of the superb Sorcier Des Glaces, ‘Seeds from the Void’ is going to be a firm favourite for those of you who enjoy the riffs!

Opener ‘Opening in D/Inhabited’ builds with a classical groundswell before some cool technical thrashing riffs take over. A lonely, black metal shriek howls from beyond, with sinister whispers invading at points too. Imagine early Dani Filth with less histrionics and drama, and you’d be close. There is a gloomy occult feeling that does reappear again and again, like the intro to the superb ‘Salem’. The musicianship on this record is magnificent, the classical licks bringing to mind European power metal greats like Savatage or Firewind, but in a rawer format.

Instrumental centrepiece ‘Ison’ really flexes that classical muscle, but we get plenty more ferocity in the spiralling ‘Gone Adrift’, and the moody ‘Stalingrad’. Abstruse Custody have really hit upon this style that I can honestly say I’ve never really come across before. It’s thrashy, but not really; it’s black metal but not really. The piercing shriek over the fretwork fireworks is intriguing, and it works really well.

To be honest, my only real criticism of this record is the thin production, which would work well with a more overtly black metal album, but as a thrash record seems a bit light. The songs are all well written, the unique vocal delivery helps to set them apart from the crowd, and the music is just damn good. Imagine mixing Burzum with early Kreator, then mixing as dry as dust. Brilliant stuff!


Being asked to review a new Hellripper release is like Christmas come early. Except Santa is covered in spikes, a Venom t-shirt and is thrashing his head against his sleigh, blood spraying everywhere. ‘Complete and Total Fucking Mayhem’ is a collection of all of Hellripper’s releases so far, splits and EPs etc, onto one excellent disc. Sit back and prepared to be thrashed.

‘Flesh Ripper’ does exactly that, with razor edged riffing tearing at you while a raging vocal spouts fear and death. ‘Total Mayhem’ is one of my favourite songs of last year, with its raw as fuck speed metal sensibilities scything through all competitors. Hellripper take all the raw potential of early Bathory and inject the kind of melody that Quorthon didn’t manage until much later. It’s harsh, uncompromising but still catchy as all hell, like the wonderfully ravaging RAWK of ‘Hell’s Rock and Roll’.

I had actually missed their split with Fetid Zombie earlier this year (shame upon me), so the last four tracks here were totally new to me. Of these, the standouts are the fiery fretwork moments of ‘Mephistophelian Dreams’ and the Sodom worship of the speedy ‘Blood on the Cross’. The uncanny melding of savage blackened thrash riffs and insidious melodies is what draws me back to Hellripper time after time. Insane air guitaring and headbanging ensues when you crank this up, so make sure it’s at 11.