Hellbastard

The Need To Kill

Written by: EW on 31/10/2009 10:14:53

Following on from a quite shabby attempt at an EP, "Eco War", it's a relief for me at least to say that Hellbastard's 2nd post-reformation album "The Need To Kill" is a better listen. Featuring a cleaner and more direct sound than on the EP, it nonetheless purposefully continues the thrashier direction of "Eco War" against the crusty punk the band were known for back in the day, yet not only with a greater degree of conviction but a strong degree of Pantera-styled groove thrown into the mixture too.

While at times showing off a silly, comical side (or at least I hope they view the ridiculous banjo intro and outro to "Anthropological Angst I" in such a way) there is at least something to grab hold of in the Pantera heavy "Anthropological Angst II", the Slayer-meets-Malevolent Creation trip of "Murder Workshop" and the Dark Angel thrashing "Fir Bolg, Bow to Slough Feg". It is these last two songs that best demonstrates just how thrash Hellbastard are now - for the most parts they thrash along at some excellent speeds headed by a vocal style that I've finally come to realise sounds a lot like Phil Rind (Sacred Reich).

It's not all rosy though. Hellbastard are prone to showing their cheeky chappy side by inserting in unnecessary vocals and sounds, destroying perfectly good songs in the process, while in "Cheyne Stoking" and "Stressed" the band inexplicably utilise a male whispered voice atop random background noises that rubs me up the wrong way so severely being called 'stressed' would be a major understatement. Note to all bands: NEVER use a pissed off sounding whisper in any music I have to listen to unless you fancy getting some hate for it - it hurts to listen to.

Finishing with a handful of re-recorded versions of Hellbastard songs of yore that I have never heard and so can't make much comment on, Hellbastard have at least made up of the some ground lost by the piss-poor "Eco War" EP, but whether they gain much recognition from a new generation of metal fans remains to be seen because Hellbastard of today are very much different to the Hellbastard any existing old-school fans will remember them as. A 'good' record but with a loss a ½ point for the excruciating moments of stupidity found within.

Download: Murder Workshop, Anthropological Angst II
For The Fans Of: Amebix, Slayer, Pantera
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.10.2009
Selfmadegod Records

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