Down In The Cold Of The Grave

Headless Horseman 2013

The debut album from this quintet from New Zealand is a masterful stroke of gritty and aggressive black metal.  Beginning with a thrashy opening segment you can hear shadows of the Bay Area before the thunderclouds truly roll in on Storming The Armoury.  A massive chug and catchy melodic hook instantly grab you and thrust the song into your head.  Then the pace quickens on Icarus with sweeping riffs and icy, scratching vocals.  A dense, cold fog of guitar and frenzied drums claws at your ears.  The track once again collapses into midtempo meanderings and bursts of diabolical violence. The title-track hits with a set of disharmonic riffs and perfectly shrill vocals from the outset and then relents into some midtempo riffage that is at times destructive and at others, borderline atmospheric.  The bass guitar line that leaps out in the middle of the song is so gripping and opens the gateway for the rolling blackened grooves that follow.  Into Battle has a bouncing main riff and a bass line that drives home the pummeling intent of the song.  The riffs are accented by a melodic line that adds an epic feel to the song.  At the 1:36 mark a captivating blackened black riff scorches the entire Earth as it erupts from your speakers in all its intense and violent glory.  Unlike its predecessor, Mistaken Identity is a bass-driven thrash holocaust.  A set of rapid-fire vocals lines and thrashing riffs hack through all resistance.  The album closes with the Ironclad whose opening notes are mysterious and mildly dissonant.  However those moments are swept aside by blackened overtures towards the thrash metal underground.  Atmospheric passages are met with a merciless, determined set of riffs that speak volumes regarding Bulletbelt's fatal intentions.  Bulletbelt have laid waste to the underground with their debut album.  A black metal core with elements of thrash decorating the fringes possesses your limbs and moves them to fits of violent flailing which wreaks havoc upon your body and the underground at large.  That is the effect of listening to Down In The Cold Of The Grave.