Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black/Thrash Duo-Assaulter and Hellcannon

Hellcannon are a four piece from New York, playing some pretty aggressive thrash. If you dive in to the depths into the depths of their music, you'll see that they aren't particularly like other new thrash bands. They actually have some traits of black and death metal, creating an interesting combination. So in that case we could call these guys blackened death/thrash, which is not a bad thing at all. I'm still surprised how I didn't know of these guys until a couple of months. Playing in the vein of Sarcofago, Destroyer 666 and alike Hellcannon will deliver you solid and vicious thrash thus rapidly spreading the headbanging infection.

The album kicks off with a nice, acoustic medley, relaxing your soul a little before a devastating impact of pure brutality. Leviathan has one of the sickest intros ever, followed by a brain pummeling force of crunchy and heavy riffs. As I mentioned before, the guys are sort of influenced by black metal as you can understand from the vocals. Leviathan is the fastest, most insanely crushing song on HTH whole album. Unlike the other songs it doesn't have technically inspired riffs but a rather ferocious approach to the music with neck-braking riffs delivered with some great drumming.

And so the album goes on like it's predecessor until the brilliant Harbringer of War. What a tune. Mind-blowing shredding solos with great riffs combining technicality with the typical aggression of the album. Rapid tremolo picking to melt your face. But the real highlights here are the solos, which are just orgasmic. They come out of nowhere and suddenly change the battlefield into a completely new place. After this track I was literally hooked on Hellcannon.

The final track that I really want to put my finger on is the bone-lacerating Act of Violence. My first Hellcannon song so it has great importance to me. The riffs have an even more progressive edge than Harbringer of War. Not only that but it will also batter your skull into submission. Act of Violence is and outstanding performance of stamina and endurance and also a terrific effort combining the crucial elements that form the whole album. A furious blend of progressive thrash riffs with the destructive power of Leviathan and a finger snapping solo thrown into it.

Overall, this album has some of the finest material from the new wave of thrash metal. While it may not hold too much originality in the music, it shows great viciousness with a neverending barrage of energetic, heavy and cryptic riffs and having a great style of their own. I guarantee any thrasher will be infected by this album within the first forty seconds.

Act Of Violence
Harbringer Of War

Rating: 88%

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Assaulter's sophomore effort ''Boundless!'' may be one of the best black/thrash albums of the decade. Hailing from Australia, Assaulter had a fairly unique and distinctive style of their own. Combining elements of black metal along with straightforward, speedy and aggressive thrash metal they created a very thrashy piece of music but at the same time showing glimpses of melodicism and the epic feel of black metal. You may find this alot thrashier than any other black/thrash band like say Skeletonwitch or even Destroyer 666 but at the same time you'll notice those tiny but crucial differences that separate this album from any other of its kind.

''Boundless!'' is absolutely vicious but at the same time epic and melancholic. The production is simply crisp clear-nothing much to be said about it really. The guitars have a buzzsaw sound, kind of like Entombed and Dismember-the pioneers of the SweDeath sound. Most riffs and leads are based on the harmonic minor scale, which is basically that egyptian melody. While the riffs are aggressive and chunky(especially with the buzzsaw guitar tone) they are also technical and the guitarists like to use the distorted tone to increase the distortion on some of the rather ''blurry'' riffs. There is little tremolo picking which is atraditional black metal trait. Despite this Assaulter uses fast tremolos on muted chords and notes rather than open ones. There is also a huge punk attitude, abit like Toxic Holacaust especially on their last album. The punk attitude is even present on the vocals, giving the album a raw edge.

The riffs become really melodic and harmonic at times and sound pretty good even without any fill riffs in the background. The fist thirty seconds of the song '' Exalt The Master'', show alot of this kind of the riffing. The drums cannot be heard best especially under all those intense melodies but they still tend to do their job well. The vocals actually have a unique edge to them, especially when they get all gnarly and vicious. The growls are done extremely well, especially over more slower or epic riffing. One final thing that I wan't put the spotlight on isthe solos. The whole album is filled with orgasmic, whammy laden harmonic minor solos. Played in a rather melodic and melancholic sense the solos appear in almost every part of the album; intros, outros, verses, choruses, after choruses-you name it.

Overall Assaulter did a tremendous job, with this piece of epic yet aggressive music. If you like Toxic Holacaust, Necrodeath, Destroyer 666, Hellcannon, Ketzer, Desaster and alike than get this, you'll love it!

Dying Day
Exalt The Master

Rating: 91%

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