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Hellehond – Verslonden

Hellehond
Verslonden
by Liam Easley at 10 December 2019, 9:10 PM

The Dutch band HELLEHOND unleashed their debut full-length, “Verslonden,” on Dec. 6 with a traditional approach to Speed Metal infused with Black Metal. Full of DESASTER worship, the band has a pretty decent start to its career with this release.

The dissonant riffs of “Kardoes” introduce this record with a gleam of hope. A good start to the album, this track shows very decent songwriting, as the dissonant intro riff is brought back later in the song, among other moments. The song is uneventful in the realm of good riffing, but it is sufficient enough to keep the listener’s interest.

Rattenmantel” and “Onbegraafbaar” are the tracks in which the DESASTER influences truly shine. The former of the two was one of the record’s singles, and it shows a very atmospheric and melodic tremolo riff reminiscent of “The Arts of Destruction”-era DESASTER. The latter of the two tracks shows the same style of riffing.

The title track is proficient in traditional Speed Metal riffing, sounding like MOTÖRHEAD with a dark twist. The song is quite dull with little flair in the music, hardly having any interesting moments. “Over De Kling” is a more effective attempt at the classic sound, and it shows the same songwriting skills as “Kardoes.”

The most grating aspect of this record is its flow. I feel that this would have worked better as an EP, as some of the tracks are very unoriginal, uninteresting and would be better unreleased. The album is a mere 29 minutes in length, and yet it still manages to be boring at parts. The structure isn’t bad because every now and then, a song will safe the record from being completely boring. In fact, it’s good that the band spread out the better songs for that very reason.

The album boils down to “Kerkerlust,” an entertaining form of traditional Speed Metal riffing that is fast unlike the mid-paced riffing heard in most of the previous tracks. With this track as the finale, it places the cherry on top of a well-structured album, but it does not make the listener forget the many dull moments of this album

This band goes through plenty of unoriginal, mid-paced riffs with enough flair in their sound to keep the listener from getting bored. If anything, it is by-the-books Blackened Speed Metal with very clear influence from previously mentioned bands as well as CELTIC FROST and DESTRÖYER 666. Nevertheless, it has potential. If watered-down Blackened Speed Metal is what you seek, then indulge in this release.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Kardoes
2. Verslonden
3. Rattenmantel
4. Onbegraafbaar
5. Hamerslagen
6. Over De Kling
7. Kerkerlust
Lineup:
Botmuyl – Vocals
Plechelmus – Drums
Batraof – Guitars
Kauw – Bass
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
     


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