mercoledì 5 aprile 2017

Hellias - "Eight Cardinal Sins" (Thrashing Madness Productions, 2017)

Band: Hellias
Title: Eight Cardinal Sins
Genre: Thrash Metal with many Modern/Experimental Metal elements
Year: 10th February 2017
Time: 55 min circa
Rating: 77/100

I have to admit that I knew nothing about the Polish band Hellias but two months ago Marcin from Mythrone Promotion sent to me their last album "Eight Cardinal Sins", released through their compatriot label Thrashing Madness Productions. In fact, Hellias is a true veteran band born even in the now far 1987 realizing its very first album "Closed in the Fate Coffin" in 1991, when thrash metal, the genre of reference of Hellias, was practically dead because supplanted at time by the prevailing death metal. I think that this delay into the thrash metal scene influenced decisively the international recognition of Hellias. It's also true that many veteran Eastern Europe metal bands, also in the case of a rich discography, are very respectable into their national borders but often very unknown to the rest of the metal world. Despite this, you know that especially Poland has become, at least during these last 15 years, an excellent breeding ground for (extreme) metal, and, surely, Hellias continue this tradition through their 5th album "Eight Cardinal Sins".

The first thing to say is that, at the very beginning, "Eight Cardinal Sins" convinced me not so much. This due for various reasons found in a too modern sound, in the occasional presence of some too melodic clean vocals, and in an approach strangely very devoted to the mid-tempos at the expense of the spped and aggressiveness. But, fortunately, yet from the first listening I started to appreciate this album and its very particular form of thrash metal.

In fact, Hellias plays a thrash metal very impure because infected by many doses of an heavy and modern metal so to offer to the listeners, for example, crazy and dissonant riffs, epic heavy metal guitar solos (as in "Angels Make War"), electronic experimentations (like into the intro of the titletrack), and a very versatile and expressive performance by Foreman, a singer able to range from raucous and aggressive vocals to painful screams à la Tom Araya or from incredibily tuned clean vocals to violent falsettos close to...Brian Johnson of AC/DC(as you see very soon)! The result of all this is an album very rich of ideas expressed even through 12 songs that are also enough long (in fact, many of them last 5 minutes). Despite this incredible richness of ideas, "Eight Cardinal Sins" isn't absolutely a dispersive album because it shows always a precise style characterized especially by a frightful dark aura yet found from the short and occult "Intro", and confirmed definitely by the first true song "Devilish Circle" (please view its mad videoclip below) thanks, for example, to its hypnotic choruses fit for a black mass.
The same "Devilish Circle" represents one of the only 5 fast songs of the album. The rest of these ones are the fantastic "Mental Violence" (that has a very effective climax), the schizophrenic "Deliverance", "Twelve Angry Man" (strong even of some black metal riffs) and the conclusive "Judas the King" (very old-school and it has also a slowdown with deathbells). But of the various songs, "Deliverance" is surely my favorite one due to its all-embracing approach able to range from to very delicate and atmospheric gothic parts to abrupt outbursts of violence (the faster ones of the entire album) rendered more wicked by a Foreman in screaming black metal-style, to end with sudden and melodic slowdowns characterized by solemn vocals. All this is useful to show to you that the songs of Hellias are always dynamic and unpredictable. Also if...

...also if "Eight Cardinal Sins" isn't surely lack of flaws. Excluded the fact that, effectively, it should have a bit more speed and aggressiveness (as I said before), the album has also "Sin City", a song that with no stylistic connections with the other songs. This because it shows AC/DC-ish hard rock all happy and too too simple with the addition of some Brian Johnson vocals by Foreman! Ergo, "Sin City" represents, in my opinion, a total filler also if unable, fortunately, to decrease great songs like "Mental Violence", the heavy "Angels Make War" and that delirious masterpiece knows as "Deliverance".

Said all this, Hellias are following a very personal path made of a kind of dark thrash metal which takes from many genres, not always close to the extreme metal like goth rock but playing all this with a great coherence, excluded, obviously, a song like "Sin City". Hence, here you are a band fit for who wants personality, good ideas and a bit of right experimentalism!


1 - Intro
2 - Devilish Circle
3 - Eight Cardinal Sins
4 - Ant Democracy
5 - Mental Violence
6 - Angels Make War
7 - Deliverance
8 - Pair of Sparks
9 - Twelve Angry Man
10 - Baader Meinhof
11 - Sin City
12 - Judas the King


Foreman - vocals
Goolary - guitars
Karol Mandozzi - guitars
Młody Karson - bass
Wojna - drums

Official Homepage:
Thrashing Madness Productions:
Mythrone Promotion:

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