The Need to Kill
After a 9 year hiatus, the UKís thrash/crust crossover specialists Hellbastard return with a new album. The album features 10 new songs and 6 rerecordings of older material which are selection of tracks from The Natural Order and Heading for Internal Darkness. Iíll be honest, I lost interest in Hellbastard after the Natural Order album so I had no expectations for this album and was unaware of any music developments they had gone through. The album opener is a calm piece with some distorted, dream like vocals, and haunting guitar leads. Up next is Going Postal where thrash elements take hold and some Exodus references surface though with more streamlined songwriting and straight ahead riffing. Chunky mosh riffs occasionally float to the surface of this metallic stew. A wildly out of place banjo and silly vocals set the stage for the southern thrash stylings of Stop Your Whining. Probably the best of the new songs is Murder Workshop which features some Slayer-esque melodies and breakdowns as well as some wild vocals and torrential guitar solos. The final track of the new material is Business Pig Hole. Some crusty riffs with lots of speedy drum work which breaks intoa thicker groove during the spoken word samples. The production on the rerecorded tracks gives the music a thicker, fuller sound and some powerful drums. This isnít necessarily a good thing though as these songs had their own initial charm to begin with that made Hellbastard a force in their own right. So this borders on blasphemy here. Hellbastardís style and sound on The Need to Kill is not as aggressive as on their earlier work and features and overall groove oriented song structure. This style doesnít really grab me and they arenít doing anything with any sort of excessive originality or conviction. I am basically confronted with a slightly unfocused and mediocre album that is trying to live off of their former glory.