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Hellbore – Holy Sadist

Holy Sadist
by Liam Easley at 28 December 2019, 6:24 PM

Music became much easier to put together since the invention of the internet, making it simpler to form bands with members from all around the globe. Featuring Chris Whitby of the United States and Charlie Munro of the United Kingdom, the debut EP and first ever studio release from HELLBORE, “Holy Sadist,” was released Nov. 29, 2019. Full of Technical Death Metal wizardry and blatantly heavy riffs, the EP blasts by in under 25 minutes.

Taking on a more Death Metal approach to technicality, the band is less focused on fretboard acrobatics and more on heavy, pounding riffs. “Convert, Kill, Subjugate” is a title as aggressive as the majority of DYING FETUS song titles, and the instrumental execution is similar. While there is no Slam involved, there are pounding riffs after pounding riffs with light technicality spread throughout.

Oftentimes, the instrumentals invoke a Deathcore-like, pounding chug. Moments of the title track and “Dull Your Mind and Sharpen Your Steel” are laden with heavy, Deathcore breakdown riffs. The sound gives the tracks a heavier edge, and the technical flourishes give these moments flavor.

While most of the tracks employ light technicality into their brand of Death Metal, “Mechanical Messiah” is where the technicality comes full force. As the title suggests, the track sounds mechanical and tight. With intricate composition and songwriting, it is effectively technical without being soulless. It is mechanical yet flavorful.

Progressive elements inch their way into “The Second Death” with the jumpy bass interlude. The voiceover mixed with the chimes create an interesting atmosphere of hammering heaviness and ethereal attitude. The title track contains the more atmospheric elements of Prog at times, and it makes the track a great way to close the EP.

While the EP is nothing revolutionary, there is a lot of potential within it. The heavy riffing style gets old after a while, making the mostly technical “Mechanical Messiah” a breath of fresh air. While the heavy riffing is good, it can become forgettable. Nevertheless, “Holy Sadist” is an EP that is full of potential, surprise and brutality.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Heresy
2. Convert, Kill, Subjugate
3. Dull Your Mind and Sharpen Your Steel
4. The Second Death
5. Mechanical Messiah
6. Holy Sadist
Charlie Munro – Guitars, Bass & Drum Programming
Chris Whitby – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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