Monday, November 2, 2009

Hellbastard - The Need to Kill (2009)

Hellbastard made a few waves back in the late 80s with their albums Heading for Internal Darkness and Natural Order, which transformed the band from their crust/punk/crossover roots into pretty much a straight razor of brutal thrash metal. Many years passed, some albums of material were collected and released, but the band truly reformed in 2007 and this new full-length follows largely where Natural Order left off.

The Need to Kill is just under 50 minutes of socially aware thrash metal, 10 new tracks with a few re-recordings tacked on the end. The material is energetic, fun street thrash that would probably appeal equally to fans of Municipal Waste and Destruction. I banged my head out to a few tracks here: "Fir Bolg, Bow to Slough Feg", "Big Business Pig Hole" and "Going Postal", but in all I wouldn't say the album left a lasting impact.

The riffs are punchy, the vocals filthy and aggressive, and worthy of a 1990 mosh pit, but I actually prefer some of the re-recordings of the earlier tracks to the new material. "Justly Executed" from Natural Order is likely the best song on this entire album, and they include a number of decent remakes from the debut. The band is about as good today as they were during the thrash explosion, so if you fondly remember their previous efforts you are the most likely to dig on this.

Highlights: Fir Bolg, Bow to Slough Feg, Going Postal, Justly Executed

Verdict: Indifference [6/10]

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