There was a time in my youth when I loved the melodious sounds of bands like HIM, AFI, and Taking Back Sunday. THOSE FUKKIN DAYS ARE OVER. The standard by which I now judge music can be captured with a few simple questions: is it blakk? is it thrash? does it make me want to break a pint glass against my fukkin forehead? Yes to all three is great, but occasionally a bit of death dribbles into the blakkened thrash brew and makes things even better. I’m willing to bet Voidhanger‘s Working Class Misanthropy is a legal means of execution in some countries and Goatwhore‘s live performance remains the only thing that has caused me to piss my pants in my adult life. Hellsodomy don’t sound too much like those bands, but the raging energy this Turkish quartet exudes with their whirlwind of blakk, thrash, and death is enough to make me consider shoving their second album Morbid Cult right into the flabby folds of my Year End List. Your head? Bang it fukkers!
Ahem. Hellsodomy‘s sound is a riffy, belligerent breed of extreme metal with some punky undertones that remind me most of Polish underdogs Witchmaster. It’s fitting that their 2016 debut Chaostorm was released via Go Fuck Yourself Productions, because this band leave all niceties at the door and instead focus almost entirely on slinging teeth-shattering riffs right into your gaping mouth. Highlights begin right with first proper track “Endless Demise,” which barrels forward on snarling thrash riffs before hitting a rapid chug that makes me smile as I realize this is exactly the Z-core I’m looking for. Some wafting tremolos add a tinge of atmosphere and make it apparent how seamlessly these Turks seemed to have mastered the death, thrash, and blakk trifecta. Songs like “Charged to Kill” and “From the Seed to the Grave” continue the fun with a groovy swagger that’s supremely headbangable and feels quite rhythmically unique. It’s all made even better with the guttural rasps of vocalist and guitarist Nekro Kasil (who’s also one of Engulfed‘s guitarists).
Rather than sticking with straightforward song structures, Hellsodomy instead choose to make each track a smorgasbord of riffs that somehow still feels wholly coherent. Early highlight “Pestilence of Black Blood” is perhaps the best example, with a main riff that swirls like a tornado before giving way to a rapid Amon Amarthian melody and concluding with a doomy final passage that once again swirls like a whirlwind, but slower. Even instrumental opener “Into Perversion” feels remarkably well-written, spending its 86 second runtime building from melodic piglet riffs to a bellicose stomp to piercing tremolos in a way that makes it apparent just how many good riffs Hellsodomy have ready to shove up your ass.
Cult sags a bit in its midsection, with “Hateclan” in particular feeling like it’s built from weaker variants of ideas from other songs. Likewise, by the time “Divided Souls” hits, I’ve started growing tired of the album’s relentlessly pounding tempo which initially felt so compelling. At nearly 39 minutes in length, a little more rhythmic diversity would definitely have helped. Fortunately the quality picks up again in the final stretch, with “Mortem in Comfort” standing out with an instantly memorable and catchy as fukk riff that sounds like something from a Sadistic Intent song. Likewise the production is terrific, with a high dynamic range and a dry, buzzy guitar tone that has a lot of bite and almost sounds like a dingier version of the classic HM-2 sound.
There’s a lot to like on Morbid Cult, even if it isn’t perfect. For such a pummeling and belligerent style, Hellsodomy‘s songwriting feels surprisingly mature and their riffs are often far more memorable, distinct, and numerous than you’d expect. As if to drive this home one final time, closer “Souls Devoured” features a main tremolo line that sounds like the bastard cousin of Dismember‘s “Override of the Overture”—the type of cousin who never had a proper dental plan and spent his adolescent summers burning ants with a magnifying glass. Like such a character, Hellsodomy are hostile, unbridled, and weirdly compelling. But beyond that, they’re promising as fukk, and sure to cause plenty of sore skulls for all who welcome this Cult of blakkened deathrash into their pathetic excuse for a life. Bottom line: fukk you.