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Hell Bent - Apocalyptic Lamentations

Hell Bent
Apocalyptic Lamentations
by Quinten Serna at 12 June 2019, 10:38 PM

From the capital of Rhode Island comes HELL BENT a no-nonsense in-your-face metal troupe with an insane array of different influences. From the shores of Thrash Metal, across the streams of Crossover, and treading in the shallows of Hardcore they produce a sound uniquely their own.

Apocalyptic Lamentations” opens up with the guttural “Welcome to the Dirt” a great introduction to the overall malign and discordant theme of the album. The guitars are slow to start with the drums providing some interlaced accents before the entire band shifts over to a much faster inclination and the shrill vocals join the mix. A couple of the tracks shift between the dynamics of slow and fast finding a way to merge the two concepts well, the resulting effect is a compilation of eerie and eldritch compositions which work in favor of the album as a whole as the songs are concerned with malevolent and degenerated topics, as heard with the likes of “the Season Begins,” and “Ichthyosis.”

The majority of the songs are of quick tempo and don’t last very long which is the largest issue with the album, as despite its listing it only comes up to about 23:38 minutes worth of music which despite being more than twice the length of their EP HELL BENT still finds its way short of traditional album times. Save for “Scythian Horde” all the tracks were composed exclusively for the album so in part the album is redeemed for its inclination for originality though the time is still a factor that will throw people off as it shares its length in full with traditional EPs.

The most interesting track on the album is “Sledgehammer Hell Bent” as it features Ian Tafoya from Znöwhite as guest lead guitarist, by coincidence or intention it is the most upbeat and Thrash-like song on the album carrying with it a classic vibe from the days when Thrash Metal was at its peak, the changeup halfway through the song revitalizes it making it feel larger than it is.

My favorite attribute of the album was the sound design as each instrument hones in on its own tone, the guitar tones are distinct enough to stand out from one another, but not too independent to hinder each other; the bass does blend into the soundscape but still manages to provide the all essential backbone; and the drums manage to keep themselves distinct and cut through without overpowering the strings or vocals.

The band earns itself recognition by being so different than other acts but doesn’t really experiment with their sound or writing. All in all a distinct band with a good freshman album that feels a bit too short.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Welcome to the Dirt
2. Oppression, Enslavement, Coercion
3. Ichthyosis
4. Pandemic
5. Cerberus Unbound
6. The Season Begins
7. Prey for War
8. Scythian Horde
9. Sledgehammer Hell Bent (Znöwhite)
Lineup:
Shawn - Bass and Guitars
Sam - Bass
Brian - Drums
John - Guitars
Badger - Vocals
Record Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
     


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