Napalm Flesh: To Hell We Go! Hells Headbangers

Posted January 27, 2011 in
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The US based record label and distro/mailorder known as Hells Headbangers is quickly becoming a bastion of underground metal. Not only has the label been churning out the depths of the American underground metal scene but, they’ve also been handling the American releases of many coveted international artists. Last year Hells Headbangers released highly lucrative offerings from the mighty Profanatica, Denouncement Pyre, Drunken Bastards and Nocturnal Blood. You may have seen some of the label’s albums reviewed in the print version of SLUG or in the Napalm Flesh blog before, and expect much more to come. The label kicked off the new year with four releases last week, three of which are reviewed exclusively here—the other release was Acid Witch’s glorious doom/stoner effort Stoned, which was in last week’s blog. Not only is the label releasing quality extreme metal fare from all genres (though black metal is the most prevalent), but they also host distribution for your favorite underground titles in multiple—CDs, LPs, DVDs, apparel, zines and all that good stuff. Do yourself a nice favor and check out the label. The mail-order is US based, so you’re not going to have to pay high overseas shipping prices. Visit the Hells Headbangers website.


Inquisition
Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm
Hells Headbangers
Street: 01.18
Inquisition = Colombian black metal underground heroes
If you’re a black metal fan, Inquisition needs no introduction. Inquisition are straight up classic black metal in the mid-to-fast-paced realm. With every listen, this record beckons one further into its abysmal qualities. “Desolate Funeral Chant” is a slow incinerating and desolate cut that is just one example of an album full of killer and no filler. Riffs churn and churn, and there are moments of melodies done the way they should be in true black metal. The tremolo riff that is so (dare I say) standard in black metal is something Inquisition don’t rely on much—this is speed, skill and menacing. Aside from shit-kicking, face-pummeling, glorious songs populating the record, there are some damned brilliant riffs to make your cranium pulsate in the sheer occult and ritualistic feeling of this record. Do yourself a favor and buy this album. There are also efforts in the Salt Lake City extreme underground scene to bring Inquisition to SLC in the not so distant future. If that’s true 2012, just may be the apocalypse—at least for SLC, because we won’t know what hit us. –Bryer Wharton

Black Witchery
Inferno Of Sacred Destruction
Hells Headbangers
Street: 01.18
Black Witchery = Archgoat + Revenge + Conqueror + Blasphemy
Apparently there’s quite a few bands calling themselves Witchery, which is odd because the Swedish faction Witchery, while most likely not the first band to call themselves that, have made the name stick. Before Black Witchery were Black Witchery they were called Irreverent first, then Witchery. Each incarnation dating back to 1991 offered up some sort of material, but no full-length came until Black Witchery was born with their first demo ‘99. The band offers up audio warfare in pretty much the simplest way—violent, pounding, guitar-riffing, constant drum blasting and unearthly screams. The lurking bass doesn’t offer much more than giving the music a heavier bottom end. There is no refuge for melody here. The Florida black metal crew isn’t wasting away about being depressed—they just want sonic warfare with their music. I get sick of bands who feel the need to offer something new to “the scene”—Black Witchery have their influences and they’re quite content with them. Inferno of Sacred Destruction is probably the band’s most cohesive and addictive work. Some brief atmospheric interludes are mixed in, but once the intro to the album is done it’s just pure war. However, an album highlight where the pace is slowed to a mid-paced noise track “Sepulchral Witchcraft,” makes me wish the album had a tad more of the evil noise offered. There’s a reason the album’s less than 30-mintues long—Black Witchery aren’t out to dwell on songwriting, they just want to punish every portion of your eardrums. What the band may lack in album length they make up for in artwork. The basic CD version comes with a DVD that contains a live set featuring 7 songs, as well as a 20-page booklet. The limited LP version comes with the same booklet, which I assume is scaled to fit the 12” package size. Fans of offenders to melody apply here—this is all you would expect and more from the ever growing Hells Headbanger’s label. –Bryer Wharton

Grave Desecrator
Insult
Hells Headbangers
Street: 01.18
Grave Desecrator = Vulcano + (early) Sepultura + Sarcafago
When you forget what decade it is while listening to underground metal, that’s usually a big indicator of the records badassery. Hells Headbangers’ PR could’ve said this is a reissue of a record from 1984 and I’d fully believe it. Insult feels a lot more like a thrash record than a black metal one, but in the early to mid-80s black metal wasn’t really a fully realized term yet. Labels aside, Insult is a bitterly raw album done without any hindrance or tiny indication that the band is trying to be retro. The songwriting is pure and natural black/thrash/death satanic gloriousness. There aren’t too many memorable songs populating the record but there are enough to keep listeners wanting to return. “Poisoned Purity” screams for listeners to hit the rewind, repeat or whatever button. Like most Hells Headbangers albums the production is raw enough to fit the underground that Grave Desecrator belong in, but clear enough to hear every blasting riff orlunatic guitar soloing. This is an easy album to get into and enjoy beyond enjoyment for fans of raw anti-conformity extreme metal. –Bryer Wharton
 

Photos:
Grave Desecrator