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Hellbound - Overlords Award winner

by Mark Machlay at 28 July 2020, 3:46 AM

HELLBOUND’s members are no stranger to the metal scene, coming from several other bands and even genres to form their particular brand of a northern Sweden take on swamp metal – sludgy and groovy with strong helpings of industrial and traditional heavy metal. They were formed in 2001 in Umea, consisting at first of Miika Rudin of local sludge band SLUMKILL on vocals and Nils Norberg who had recently left his lead guitar duties of power metallers NOCTURNAL RITES. They completed an album but being unsatisfied with the result, they recruited bass guitarist Nicklas Backstrom of extreme prog metal band MOLOKEN to help them write what would become their 2012 debut “Through Hell and Muddy Waters” to much acclaim. After their first show at the “House of Metal” festival, they found a permanent replacement for their session drummer in David Ekevarn of local black metal band MORTUUS. Unfortunately, in 2013, founder Norberg would leave the band due to lack of inspiration and guitarists Henrik Mikaelsson and Mathias Nylen – both from thrash metal outfit LIVE ELEPHANT – would be brought in to creatively refuel the band and finally release their highly anticipated follow-up.

There sophomore effort “Overlords” continues their cinematic, sludgy trudge through their unique brand of metal that they started on their much acclaimed debut. From the outset, “Too Fast to Die” welcomes the listener with a tagline from the move Hellraiser II: Hellbound – the band’s namesake. It’s a great, hard and heavy introduction featuring guest vocals from NOCTURNAL RITES frontman Jonny Lindqvist. The best explanation for their unique sound is “The bastard child of ROB ZOMBIE and DOLLY PARTON”. Title track “Overlords” personifies the country and honky-tonk ZZ TOP-like influences with an intro that could be in a remake of the 1972 movie “Deliverience” set in the remote Georgia wilderness and famous for the disquieting banjo tuneage heard in it.

However, I don’t remember ROB ZOMBIE ever going quite this sinister. He was always more comical and his imagery is certainly felt in the album cover but HELLBOUND take his “Hellbilly Deluxe” and make it crap its pants. The bass is pounding, the guitars are overly saturated and heavily distorted, the drums are frenetic and the vocals are the sweet love child of Phil Anselmo  of famous groove metal band DOWN and PANTERA and Al Jourgensen of pioneer industrial band MINISTRY. There is not a lot of variety between the tracks, but for sure, you’re going to get down and dirty with these boys and love every minute of it. They took what they created on their debut and upped all the metal elements to 11 and it has certainly paid off. Put this on and have a good time tooling down the road and have everyone praying for your mortal souls as you rock out.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Too Fast to Die
2. Seven Seas of Pain
3. Overlords
4. Out of Time
5. Towers Burning
6. Screaming in the Dark
7. Atlantis Rise
8. Hand of Death
Miika “El Mico” Rudin – Vocals
Nicklas Backstrom – Bass
David Ekevarn – Drums
Henrik Mikaelsson – Guitar
Mathias Nylen – Guitar
Record Label: Discouraged Records


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