Electric Hellride

Hate.Control.Manipulate

Written by: AP on 29/12/2012 20:49:37

Electric Hellride have been enjoying an impressive stint this year, winning the Danish edition of W:O:A Metal Battle, subsequently performing at the international final at Wacken Open Air in August, and releasing their debut album "Hate.Control.Manipulate" through the leading metal label in Denmark: Mighty Music. Anyone who has ever seen them live will tell you that this is hardly a surprising - their performances are extremely convincing, and the music is designed to melt a headbanger's heart.

The band exists in a familiar limbo where multiple metal subgenres come together to form a groovy, hard-hitting mixture that we at this webzine tend to dub Danish metal. Death metal, thrash, sludge and even hardcore are all audible parts in this concoction, yet Electric Hellride, like so many other Danish metal bands, cannot be said to belong under any one of those labels alone. The opening duo of "Adiabatic Wrath" and "Hatred Propaganda" brings little new to the market; it's metal with a huge M and never crosses over into experimental territory. This is both Electric Hellride's primary source of success and their greatest pitfall, as the music could not be described as original or even particularly ambitious, yet it is played with such conviction and know-how that it is hard not be at least a little impressed.

On track three, "Take Control", the formula is perfected in one of the grooviest and best Danish metal songs this year. Much in the vein of Entombed, it rolls in with pummeling double pedals and irresistible main riff, forcefully boring its way into your memory by virtue of the band's expert songwriting abilities. Everything is there: a driving, energetic and heavy rhythm section, crushing riffs, plenty of satisfying guitar solo action and a threatening undertone. It's frustratingly simple, and obnoxiously awesome; the polar opposite of a song like the following "Flesh Into Ash", which seems completely devoid of purpose, occupying five minutes of the total running time in total anonymity. That song does highlight one of Electric Hellride's strongest assets, however: the vocals of bassist Casper Villumsen. I'm inclined to claim that without his Southern-tinged, whiskey-drenched roar the music of Electric Hellride would lose its few shreds of identity, as even in the album's dullest musical moments, his voice provides a glimmer of light.

"Sulfur" pushes the album back on track in lengthy, progressive fashion, showcasing the full breadth of the band's influences, which seem to stem from more or less every corner of extreme metal; and "The Needle Craves" sustains the drive like a powerful punch to the face, bearing a striking resemblance to Entombed's classic "Like This with the Devil". It's a song that cements the essence of "Hate.Control.Manipulate" - and that's not to blow people away with complexity, jaw-dropping musicianship or other trickery. No, the essence of "Hate.Control.Manipulate" is to cater to drunken, grizzly metal dudes headbanging and splashing their beer on everyone else at concerts and festivals, and in this regard Electric Hellride are extremely successful.

Sadly this also means that "Hate.Control.Manipulate" is not a particularly fantastic album, by a long stretch. The songs all serve their purpose in creating the impression described in the previous paragraph, but their only redemption is that Electric Hellride play this style of music much better than most of their peers - and do so without pretense. So if you want to have your mind blown, you'd best steer clear of "Hate.Control.Manipulate"; if you're looking for something to soundtrack your moshing and headbanging activities, then by all means, get a hold of this lesson in confronting heaviness.

Download: Take Control, Sulfur, The Needle Craves, Exhaling Chaos
For the fans of: Barricade, Entombed, Justin Hate
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.11.2012
Mighty Music

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