Friday, December 19, 2008

Helgrind - Religious Persecution (2008)

For their second effort, UK squadron Helgrind have unleashed a beast of thrashing proportions, which truly captures the spirit and energy of its forebears without any retro bullshit whatsoever. This is how thrash needs to persist in order to survive. True to the roots, but serious minded and worth paying attention to. Even more fascinating is the band is conceptually based in Norse and Germanic mythologies and how these have interacted with the atrocity of modern religion. Not very common among bands of this style. Sign me up!

After an intro the album opens with "Death Squad", a moderately paced thrasher which introduced the great mix of the album and the aggressive vocals of Paul Nelson, which sound like the perfect hybrid between the two Toms: Tom Araya, and Tom Angelripper. "Back from Hell" begins with a thrashing, grooving gait which isn't unlike earlier Sepultura (when they were good). "Mass Graves" is another kick ass tune with some nice leads under the steady thrashing, total 80s. The rest of the album is fairly balanced, some of the standout tracks including "Religious Persecution", "Forbidden Lust" and the excellent "Witchery", all of which carry an excellent Germanic thrash style which will appeal to fans of earlier Sodom and Kreator, although vocally they channel Slayer.

It's another of those albums which I found a pleasure to sit and listen through, as the entire thing is well delivered with a great sound quality, and an honest love of thrash without any silly intentions. If you're a thrash purist, you will be banging your head to this for quite some time, and I will definitely be keeping Helgrind on my radar!

Verdict: Win [8/10]

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