Bands need to drop the whole Nazi imagery thing. I just spent the last twenty minutes with my fingers crossed doing research on Hellacaust to confirm that despite their shocking, break-out-the-trigger-warnings name, the band themselves don’t condone Naziism. Sweet. Clean Nazi bill of health guys. So now I get to recommend the band’s new album, What Is Not, without risking being labelled some sort of fascist. Well, no more than usual.
In one respect, Hellacaust sound exactly like the sort of band the name implies. Mostly thrash, but incorporating other genres, their style is rooted in machine-gun tempo kick-drum workouts and a muscular buzzsaw guitar tone. but uses those elements in a surprisingly dynamic way for the full steam ahead approach the album takes. They hop the inter-genre fence regularly, pure thrash making way for elements more typical of black metal and grind. Besides the wizardry applied to integrating these genre shifts seamlessly into their music, the band also exhibit a deep understanding of the riff. The album’s full of face shredders that fill the continuum between traditional thrash chugging and convoluted figures that straddle atonality in their abandon. It’s in this continuum that the album finds a way to alter dynamics even when its near constantly ripping ahead in top gear, barraging the listener with note dense riffs and screaming solos. In spite of the seeming recklessness the songs are very palatable and easily understood and enjoyed, the skillful riffage probably being the key factor in this. The vocals are industry standard thrash metal shrieks and growls but the riffs provide the hooks that keep the album musically interesting. The result is an album that’s tough not to headbang to which should satisfy the thrash fan in your life for weeks. Furious, fun and smarter than its balls out approach would have you believe What Is Not is not not worth checking out. You can listen to album track Skitzophrenicult below and subject yourself to more face-rending fun on the group’s Bandcamp page.