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Helslave – From The Sulphur Depths Award winner

From The Sulphur Depths
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 April 2021, 5:29 AM

HELSLAVE is an Italian Death Metal band who formed in 2009. "From The Sulphur Depths" is their second full length album. They have also released a demo and two EPs over the years. They started as more of a Melodic Death metal band have moved into more abrasive territory over the course of their existence This album takes the established sound of the previous 2017 EP "Divination," and pushes more and more hellfire thru it. "From The Sulphur Depths," is an uncompromising and energetic death metal gauntlet.

This is a heavier, faster, album that amps up everything badass about the band to the tenth degree. In essence, they sound just like you think a band called HELSLAVE would and the metal underground is all the better for it. Despite the intensity (or perhaps because of it), this isn’t mindless, seething anger. Sure, it is raw, powerful and will scare anyone who isn’t a fan of the scene but there is an undeniable synergy among the members of this band. Each person brings their all to their respective roles and each one plays to their fullest with the obvious confidence that the others have their backs at all times within the music.

The title track is an eerie and atmospheric little intro piece that sets the tone and blends in seamlessly to the next track. It isn’t too short or too out there…it is how it should be and is EXACTLY how to do an intro right. That next track is "Unholy Graves" and if you head-bang to it, you'll be dead just as the song ends. Those growls roar over the cacophony of electric death and the song just rips from that very moment to the end. The song, like the album as a whole, just sounds fun and exciting; I can just tell these guys are compassionate for this style and had a blast recording this. Check out the part from 2:47 to the songs end and tell me your ears still work and your face isn't melted.

"Thrive In Blasphemy" has riffs for days and they come at you so fast that being prepared for the next one is impossible. This song is the perfect example of what I was mentioning earlier: this band fires on all cylinders with so little effort for the listener that it's a smooth yet brutal experience. Listen from one around 1:22 up until the surprisingly melodic guitar solo: the groove they harness just face melting. The halfway point of the album "Last Nail In The Coffin" is the best song I've ever heard from the band and a shining example of why death metal has the following and appeal it does to so many metalheads. The riffs are slick, the rhythm hammers and the vocal patterns against the backdrop of the music is actually catchy. What more do you want? The part at 2:45 with the bludgeoning riffs and drums that shake like a quake? HELSLAVE have it!

Like the title would suggest, "Desecration" just tears up and smites all in its path. It amazes me how crisp and fast the drums here are without losing one decibel intensity. I don't know if this song will ever be played life but the riffs at 1:50 will put people inside the pit in the hospital. And the movement after the amazing guitar solo is so heavy that I have no way to really talking about it. This song is definitely my next favorite on the album.

The album closes with "The Sentence Of Living" that fades in with an already oppressive and impressive display of death metal. This song is just sweltering to the core. Each riff is better than the one before it but they still have time and sanity to throw in some melodic solos.  The songs ending is impressive with how the heavier elements fade out into clean notes that are no less scary than the death metal insanity that came before. HELSLAVE's "From The Sulphur Depths" is the Death metal album this year needs and although it is early yet, future releases from their peers better be on point if they have any hope of going against this fallen monstrosity.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. From the Sulphur Depths
2. Unholy Graves
3. Thrive in Blasphemy
4. Perpetual Damnation
5. Last Nail in the Coffin
6. Thy Will Be Done
7. Funereal Lust
8. Desecration
9. Rotting Pile of Flesh
10. The Sentence of the Living
Jari Sgarlato – Guitars
Francesco Comerci – Drums
Luca Riccardelli – Bass
Diego Laino – Vocals
Marco Benedetti – Guitars
Record Label: Pulverised Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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