Hellripper

Bastard – Rotten Blood Review

Bastard – Rotten Blood Review

“What we have here is the devil’s own bar band. After a seven-year layoff and a slew of lineup changes, Bastard swaggers back onstage with sophomore full-length Rotten Blood. These four likely parolees mine a vein of blackened speed metal and thrash that will be familiar to fans of NifelheimGoatwhore, or, more recently, any of your finer bands ending in the suffix “-er” (Bütcher, Bewitcher, Hellripper, Demiser, etc.). The album is all Motörhead riffs played at 78 rpm and mad-lib lyrics that pay homage to Satan or whatever–mostly, it seems, because cozying up to Old Man Splitfoot is the fastest way to get your hands on the good whiskey.” Bastards, bourbon, Battlestar Galactica.

Knife – Knife Review

Knife – Knife Review

“Over the past few years, I’ve found myself growing increasingly fond of the blackened speed metal subgenre. Something about the mix of simple, unrelenting riffs, vicious vocals and gleefully evil subject matter speak to my soul in a profound and fundamental way. But instead of exploring any of that in therapy, I just keep an eye out for the next morsel of Motörhead-worshipping, Venom-venerating filth that bobs to the surface of the promo sump. That’s exactly how I happened upon Knife, a blackened speed outfit hailing from Germany that traffic in this (un)heavenly concoction.” Blades of steel.

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Sometimes reviewers live with regrets. “Was I too hard on Wraith?” wondered reviewing machine Charcodadentron or whatever his fucking name is. “Do they still say mean things about me at band practice?” Fortunately, he’s had another shot to Undo the Chains of his self-doubt. Yeah, you know you want to read it.

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

“There’s something so alluring about the melding of two genres like black and speed metal. When executed correctly, these seemingly disparate styles join forces to create a noxious stew altogether stronger than the sum of their individual parts; powerful, bombastic and able to dissolve your stomach lining. Bands like Blackevil, Bewitcher, Hellripper and a cornucopia of their spike-and-denim clad contemporaries prove what transpires when icy BM and the meat-and-potatoes chug of 80s speed form their unholy union. Bunker 66 are no strangers to this format, and are eager to continue the sacrilegious scourge with their new album Beyond the Help of Prayers.” Bunker busters.

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

“It’s spring in Minnesota. Given the harshness of our winters, these longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures always feel transformative, but after these past 12 months of hell, and with vaccination rates climbing and new Covid cases dropping, one can almost imagine normal life emerging from the pandemic like the landscape emerges as the snow disappears. In physical terms, this means the compulsion to go outside is strong. Absorb some sunlight, smell the mild air, watch things grow. In metal terms, it’s time to put down the doom and dsbm and reach for something fun, fast and filthy. South Carolina’s blackened thrash band Demiser have spent pandemic isolation crafting their debut full-length, Through the Gate Eternal.” Reports of Demiser are not greatly exaggerated.

Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons Review

Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons Review

“Despite enjoying metal my whole life, I used to struggle with thrash beyond the biggest names. I found it bland, chugging and neanderthalic. 2017 was a watershed time for my enjoyment of the thrashing style, and part of that watershed was Coagulating Darkness by Hellripper. Bridging black, speed and thrash, James McBain’s solo project did what so many others (including the ‘classics’) previously had not and opened the doors to the genre. Though I never got round to a write-up, it’s one of the premium speedy albums of the 2010s and Hellripper shot up my list of favorite bands.” Return of the Ripper.

Blackevil – Forever Baptised in Eternal Fire Review

Blackevil – Forever Baptised in Eternal Fire Review

“Something wicked this way comes. What is that thing? It’s Germany’s Blackevil — and their sophomore record Forever Baptised in Eternal Fire follows with them. These maniacal monsters play a potent mixture of blackened thrash, speed metal, and pure heavy metal — the kind that Iron Maiden would have played if they’d been nearly as satanic and evil as the PMRC thought they were back in the 80s.” Z-evil never dies.