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Hell Machine - Relentless Aggression

Hell Machine
Relentless Aggression
by Oli Gonzalez at 15 March 2022, 11:28 AM

 From the land down under, HELL MACHINE follow up their debut album with their next release “Relentless Aggression”. Unintentionally following a theme of doing things in reverse, I went in blind and listened to the album without reading anything about the band. It does seem like the Australians have built a reasonable following with some good festival appearances. However, it surprised to find that they are only a duet! Perhaps they recruit session players for live shows. Either way, I was very much impressed with this album and will share my thoughts below.

Overall, I was impressed with the thrash metal undertone. The raw intensity, aggression, and speed. However, there was certainly more technically challenging and overall aesthetic qualities to the music. For example, the guitar solo in “Hammer Of Hate” truly was equisite! There was also elements of refined guitar work in the opening two songs, “Devil Spawn”, and “She-Demon”. Combined with Dave’s vocals, I can definitely see shades of metal legends DEATH within their music. I did wonder if I was listening to the late great Chuck Schuldiner reincarnated. This is embodied by the high pitch shrieks dripping raw emotion yet with well ennunciated and intelligible lyrics. Lyrically, I think the band were going down a more audience effective route. Writing lyrics that aren’t the most complex, but easy to join in on. Especially in “Burn In Hell”, where the song’s chorus is repeated over and over again. This definitely works on this occasion. No need for lyrical complexity.

For me, “Low Life” is perhaps the best example of a thrash metal song on this album. There’s nothing overtly pretty about this song. Just speed, dirty riffs, in your face intensity, especially in the opening 2 minutes or so. Still, there is a progressive component, switching up between this intensity and the slower mid section, just to allow us to rest our necks and catch our breath. I’m getting more of a KREATOR vibe, which is most certainly a testament to the band’s abilities.

I particularly enjoyed “God Is Nowhere”. Especially as the band grinded the pace to a slow, bludgeoning pace. Each note deliberate, slow, hitting like a sledgehammer. Reminiscent of death metal legends OBITUARY. That’s cool to switch up ideas and genres like this. Production wise, I think there’s most certainly a retrograde yet polished effect. Much like a KREATOR or DEATH album. I noticed that the bass tone had more clangy, metallic properties for the majority of the album. This seems to be synonymous with the genre. In all honestly, I’m not sure if this works and just becomes a distraction for me. Much like a pesky dripping tap that hasn’t been closed properly, it becomes annoying. If you’re looking for an album that combines melodic and technical components with a solid thrash backbone, HELL MACHINE“Relentless Aggression”. Moving forward, I’d like to see the band continue with these ideas as it’s a solid foundation. They’re not quite there yet, but with the right strategy and guidance, they could be.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability:  8
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Devil Spawn
2. She-demon
3. Burn In Hell
4. God Is Nowhere
5. Gates Of Hell
6. Low Life
7. Possession
8. Hammer Of Fate
Lineup:
Dave Hellrazor - Bass & Vocals
Mal Machine – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 10 December 2022
 

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