Title: Children of the Atom
Label: Hells Headbangers Records
Release Date: 28 September 2018
Format reviewed: High quality digital promo
Right out of the gates, Bonehunter blast into a frozen Finnish fury of frostbitten black metal. The three-piece pull strongly from their fellow countrymen, including influence from Satanic Warmaster and Impaled Nazarene into their brand of speedy, blackened metalpunk. However, unlike the aforementioned acts, the lyrical content of Bonehunter tends to be more lighthearted, as though they spent a lot more time with science fiction comics than satanic grimoires.
Things start of strong after a short intro bit with “Demonic Nuclear Armament,” which includes one of the more Satanic Warmaster bits: the verse riff is pure Finnish Black metal glory. Bonehunter starts throwing in some of their own style with the bit of lead guitar noodling that lightens the mood. The rest of the song is back to more of the palm-muted, blitzkrieg thrash that the band has become known for in their nine years. Fast and very punky, the guitar parts, it seems, could easily been swapped for Pennywise riffs from the early nineties, especially on “Sex Messiah Android” and “The Reek Of Reaper’s Scythe.” While the unrelenting d-beat patterns on the drums back this up, the vocals are decidedly black metal, a harsh barking coated in fuzz.
Bonehunter rely on a singular tactic to keep their audience engaged: full speed ahead. The power doesn’t drop as the record progress, but about three-quarters of the way in things do start to sound a little same-y. A few spoken word samples peppered throughout work as markers, breaking up the album a bit and letting the music sink in. It’s a helpful approach: the samples are fitting and aren’t too long to allow things to cool down too much.
With “Devil Signal Burst,” Bonehunter close Children Of The Atom with a bookend to the opener: a more pure black metal track than most of the black/speed in between. It’s an excellent epic closer that bashes the looming threat of monotony that has been hanging over for the last few songs (and, in all honesty, while fitting and well-executed, the Spiritus Mortis cover would have been better as a bonus track). The second half of the song wraps up with a glorious display of tremolo picking that lifts the whole album up in its climactic conclusion. Overall the Children Of The Atom is a joyride: a windows-down, over-the-speed-limit banger that accomplishes its goal of being fast, loud, and in-your-face. 6.5/10 d00mfr0gg
6.5/10 We may survive!
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