Hell Strike - Hellstrike
Chaos Records
Blackened Death Metal
6 songs (23'20")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex

Of all the bands from which members of Hell Strike hail I only heard of (and probably listened to) Ritual Necromancy. So other references, like Ascended Dead or Bloodsoaked wouldn’t ring any bells. The monikers all sound sufficiently gory, so I was pretty sure death & black metal were in the offing on Hell Strike debut almost self-titled mini-album. Indeed, while trying to create something new for themselves Hell Strike reflect on 20-30 year old history and could fit on the pages of Daniel Ekeroth’s famous Swedish Death Metal book.

With their music the band flips through mid-90s - turn of the century Swedish death metal and dip into even measure blacker and doomier varieties of the genre. All the while they never stop to fully develop almost any of their songs. A lot is left to the listener’s interpretation, with Hell Strike laying down the foundation, as if in the series of preliminary sketches. Cadaveric Requiem is certainly cacophonic and brutally crushing at the start, but riffs shape up eventually, structure emerges and even melodic bits can be heard. Re-Abortion is also discordant and angular, yet riffs probably possess the most structure and melody, but the overall feeling is still of chaos and tempest. Chais of Frost is doom drenched, with the lead sounding like an army of worms burrowing through rotten wood. Transylvanian Funeral is the blackest of the bunch with a dreamy distorted tremolo and vibrating bass line, but kind of gets stuck in the same repeating riff. Nothing on the album stands still though, there are more ideas here that can fit 24 min, you feel being a little jerked around and unsettled, not knowing whether to tune out the meandering of Morbid Abnormality of the Ages or love its minor chords bringing on the brood. In the end chaos always prevails, but with vocals here being not particularly brutal, recorded as if from the other side of the wall in the makeshift studio, you tend to concentrate more on the music thinking of all those old death metal records in my collection I need to now go dust of and relisten to.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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