Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hellbastard - "Sons of Bitches" (2012)

EP (PATAC Records, November 15th 2012)

Line – up (1986):        M.S. Scruff Lewty – vocals/guitar;
                                    Tom McCombe – guitar;
                                    Paul O’Shea – bass;
                                    Nathan Ellis – drums.

Location:                    Newcastle (England).

Better song of the ep:


Better feature of the platter:

The variety.
 Hellbastard - Sons of Bitches
This ep of the Hellbastard is their second one after the reunion happened in 2007 and celebrated with the third album, “The Need to Kill”, released 2 years after. The band has an hard past to face but, still now, these old boys know how to destroy the ears of the listeners, shooting a great inventiveness and some strange intuitions, so the 23 minutes circa of the platter surprises always through incredible ways.

But the Hellbastard surprises already starting with the length of some tracks, like the 6 minutes of “We Had Evidence” (a re – recorded and re – arranged song taken from the first album and once called “We Had No Evidence”), or the 5 minutes of “System Whore”, the only unconciving song of the tracklist, as I will explain soon.

The music present here is basically a mid – tempo based thrash metal with a strong amount of contagious groove and an enough dynamic pace. This is due also to the semi – sequencial structure of the songs, that have often a specific scheme, but, at times, it is shortened or filled with other little details, making more interest during the listening. Besides this, the band range from the typical thrash fast passages to even some doom moments. These ones are fundamental for “Arcadia”, the darker song of the ep that explodes at the end.

In “Arcadia” is present, in a minimalistic and atmospheric way, the soloist guitar, that here reinforce simply the main riff, while it play two incredible and melodic solos into the following “Sons of Bitches”. Finally, there is a romantic solo (what? Yeah, it’s just so!) during the acoustic introduction of “We Had Evidence”. Hence, the soloist guitar occupy a good but not invasive role in the music, also because the technical skills are very remarkable, as you can listen in some riffs.

Another important aspect of the ep is its variety. For example, “We Had Evidence” is an adventurous song with some noisy and obsessive passages and some groovy one – two beats, not forgetting its total absence of fast moments. Also “System Whore” is mentionable, since it has divided between two distinct parts, so we have the first metallic half while the second one is melodic and sad plus acoustic guitar and distant/desperate vocals. But, as I said before, “System Whore” is unconciving because the second part is too static and long, so its dramatic touch loses soon.

Finally, the production is very good, giving to all the musicians the right visibility. In addition, the effects are very used, especially for the vocals and the guitars (listen, for example, “Arcadia”). Logic for a band that propose, as last song, a good reggae experiment of 2 minutes with final auto – obliging claps (“Throw the Petrol Bomb”).
 Hellbastard - Photo
All in all, this ep is very surprising, it has many points at its advantage, like the variety, an interesting and unconventional approach for some situations etc… etc…. This means that you should prepare very well to listen it, also because, as I see visiting the Web, the last things of the band aren’t always well appreciated by the fans. So, be bold enough to do it that sometimes there is need to surpass the musical bounds!

Rating: 76

Flavio "Claustrofobia" Adducci


1 – Wolfsong/ 2 – Arcadia/ 3 – Sons of Bitches/ 4 – System Whore/ 5 – We Had Evidence/ 6 – Throw the Petrol Bomb



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