Posts Tagged ‘Witches Brew Records’

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.


Brazilian thrash you say? Well, that’s a country with some pedigree when it comes to that genre and Blackened look to be the next big thing to come hell for leather from South America. They’ve been honing their craft since 2013, and have recently signed with great German label Witches Brew for their debut release, ‘Truth Behind Destruction’.

The sounds of war ripple from your speakers as opener ‘The Front Remains’ launches, a frantic nod to the likes of Slayer and Anthrax immediately. There’s a punkish vibe to it too, but through every song runs a deep Bay Area influence. The infectious ‘Chemical Terror’ writhes with vintage thrash energy, and that’s the most endearing part about Blackened; they FEEL like a 80s classic thrash band despite being so new! Everything from the awesome intro to ‘Into Lunacy’ to the galloping ‘Stay Wasted’, Blackened tick every box.

For me, it could do with a slightly crisper production, but I suppose the rougher mix adds to the charm. ‘Truth Behind Destruction’ is a record that enschews all modernity in thrash, channelling everything that was great about 80s thrash bands and inducing much headbanging. This is a band who’ll send a pit crazy in an instant, and on a label that brought us Toxic Holocaust and Gama Bomb, Blackened are right at home!


The debut full length from Greek Power/speed/thrash/heavy metal types Saboter, the ominously titled ‘Mankind is Damned’, is painted in lurid colours on its Repka-esque cover art. From that, you would certainly assert that the human race is indeed under threat, but mainly in this case from the razor sharp hooks of this record!

Opener ‘Purifier’ could be a lost cut from ‘Painkiller’, and the rather obvious Judas Priest influence continues throughout, but the guitar melodies are excellent and each song is catchy as hell. Saboter is clearly set on vintage heavy metal as its biggest influence, but there’s definitely some American style power metal theatrics in there too. The grandiose ‘Marching Death’ has it all, acoustics build into a progressive, almost Maiden-like piece with style, as is the galloping ‘Impaler’. There’s rife NWOBHM notes, from Jaguar to Angel Witch, but there’s something intangibly brilliant about ‘Ghost in the Machine’, and I’m feeling some Iced Earth from it too.

That’s the joy of Saboter. They bring pleasures of classic heavy metal into the modern world, while adding little bits of more contemporary power metal and thrash elements. ‘Sacred Catalyst’ could’ve dropped off the edge of Iced Earth’s first few records, but Saboter’s personal stamp is all over this record. The music is excellent, the songs are catchy as hell, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every heavy metal second of it!


Shrapnel Storm, old school death metallers from Finland, have dropped ‘Mother War’, their debut full length after eight years of being a band. They take a lot of influence from bands like Bolt Thrower and Brutality, and as their album title gives away, their theme is war.

Intro track ‘Casus Belli’ has a satisfyingly dense chug to it, moving into the relentless pounding of ‘The Carpet Bombing’. The guitar tone is thick and chunky, and the riffs have got that instant headbanging effect that all good solid death metal has. ‘Detracked’ comes on like a tank, steamrolling all in its wake in a thunder of thick death riffs and epic growls. It’s got everything you need in a great death metal record.

To compare Shrapnel Storm to Bolt Thrower seems disingenuous, because they aren’t as good as the British legends, but Shrapnel Storm are the closest to taking the crown with their dense heaviness. Each song is catchy, brutal and direct. There’s no technical wankery, there’s not a breakdown in sight, it is all solid, mid tempo death metal fury. The rage of ‘Combat High’, the bombardment of ‘To Each Battle’ and the chugging ‘Calling of the Void’ are highlights for me, but to be honest, any track here is great. I love Shrapnel Storm, I love this record, and you should too. Hail to Mother War!