HELLRIPPER is a one-man old school blackened-thrash project from Aberdeen, Scotland. Now before I continue, this was something that was sent to me back in I think August, when I was in the middle of my hiatus. I didn’t even know that this was in there. I was cleaning out my inbox last week, and there it was, waiting for me, like a Fallen Angel. And I couldn’t be more happy that I found this. Many apologies to HELLRIPPER for the delay in getting this out there.
Now that that’s out of the way, HELLRIPPER’S debut full length COAGULATING DARKNESS is one of the most blistering and ferocious pieces of honest, balls-on-fire metal I’ve heard in some time. There’s not an ounce of pretension here, and for being a one-man metal project, that man being one JAMES McBAIN, that’s pretty impressive. This guy can play.
While falling under the genre heading of Blackened Thrash, this really touches on a variety different metal subgenres throughout the just over 25 minute running time. For all intents and purposes, it’s most comparable to SODOM, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, EVIL ARMY, MIDNIGHT, BATHORY *(perhaps not quite as MetalPunk), but often drifts into the realms of classic Bay Area Thrash and NWOBHM *(New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) without ever feeling rehashed, overdone or boring. HELLRIPPER manages to take those influences of old, and a few others, and mangle them into something new, that being their own caustic stew. This was an absolute joy to listen to, honestly. And, for being entirely D.I.Y., the recording and song quality are never sacrificed, never succumb to obnoxiousness, cheapness, or the other inherent issues that can hitch along with one-man projects. *(That one I know from personal experiences with solo recording over the years, admittedly, particularly the cheapness.)
My favorite songs on here are the NWOBHM infused “From Hell,” the scorching opener “Bastard of Hades,” the straight thrash “Conduit Closing,” and the epically evil closing title track, “Coagulating Darkness” *(a whole lotta SLAYER influence in this one). There’s not a bad or weak moment on here, and had I heard this before my “Year’s Best Albums” article last week, it would’ve most certainly made the cut, without question.
HELLRIPPER was formed in 2014, in Aberdeen, Scotland, and released their first ep THE MANIFESTATION OF EVIL to critical acclaim in 2015. On through 2016 they released a couple of split albums, holding them over until the release of this underground metal masterpiece in 2017. The band had been gaining an ever more steady foothold in the underground, but felt the inability to perform live shows had become a severe detriment *(that will happen in such cases). So a lineup for live performances was established, ultimately leading them to playing the Old Grave Fest in Romania. Not bad. Hopefully sometime this year they will be able make it to and traverse the States, this is something I’d love to see.
There’s not a whole lot else to say about this. It knows what it is, has no shame about it, no allusions *(nor should they), revels in it in fact, and brings something a little new to the metal table, something varied but still pure in the undiluted chainsaw honesty of its intent, that being being “TOTAL FUKKING MAYHEM!” I highly suggest this for the metal connoisseur, or the extreme music fan just looking for some intense, raging Occultic thrash that doesn’t let up from the first note to the last. All it takes is heart, passion, and HELLRIPPER seem to have that in fiery spades. Support the underground, this is where the real talent lay. Go to HELLRIPPER’S page, check out a song, then support these upcoming metal monsters and pick up an hard copy of COAGULATING DARKNESS, maybe a t-shirt *(there are some wicked designs), so they can keep creating this top quality music for your entertainment. C’mon, man, don’t be a cheap fukk, this is a two way system. You know how it works and what to do.
In closing, I’d like to say that, y’know, I’ve never associated extreme metal – – – any metal – – – with Scotland. Who knew? Thanks for reading. 93.
For more on HELLRIPPER:
95 Hallfield Road
VINCENT DAEMON is a writer of the macabre & nonfiction, reviewer, editor, essayist, student of Phenomenology and the Occult, musician, founder of Grave Demand Publishing, social observer, photographer, historian of film/music/literature and the general strange. His Weird Fiction has appeared in over 40 anthologies and periodicals, in both print and digital. He’s also contributed hundreds of film, music, and book reviews to T.I.F. and various other sites. Whatever is not out-of-print can be found at AMAZON and in various dark corners of the internet. For a free sampling of his work, check out his stories at the FREEZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION: http://freezineoffantasyandsciencefiction.blogspot.com/ To sample the multitudes of music he’s recorded over the years, check out VINCENT DAEMON’S AGE OF DESIRE at Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 He can be found at Facebook, as well. MUSICIANS! WRITERS! FILMMAKERS!: If you would like your work reviewed/covered in the ROSETTA BONES, please send works and materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.