Band: Hell Bent
Title: Apocalyptic Lamentations
Release date: 14 June 2019
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
You can always count on bands that fall between the thrash and hardcore spectrum to hammer you in the face with straight to the point tunes full of fury and aggression. This is exactly what we got with Rhode Island thrash metallers HELL BENT delivering their first full-length release on June 14. Although initially released independently, the band immediately started working with Armageddon Label, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, and Metal Swarm for physical releases. Following up their wicked self-titled EP last year, “Apocalyptic Lamentations” is an equally enjoyable assault of ferocious metal and raw power. Their sound pulls from a pool of gritty influences ranging from early thrash, speed, and black metal with a lot of hardcore attitudes stitching it all together. HELL BENT is definitely a good choice for fans of early Venom and Slayer who also enjoy a harsher vocal approach more akin to Vader and Master.
HELL BENT immediately go in for the kill with songs like “Welcome to the Dirt” and “Oppression, Enslavement, Coercion”, and “Pandemic” a barrage of non-stop fast muddy riffs and carnage. Utilizing a heavier vocal tone adds to the ferocity of the instrumentals throughout the album, ranging from traditional speed metal moments to others which feel like they hold much more malice. This breakneck pace is wavered only a few times with tracks like “Ichthyosis” and “The Season Begins”, bringing some brief down-tempo chuggier moments before resuming the onslaught.
“Apocalyptic Lamentations” is relentlessly kick-ass, but a few of my favourite songs were “Oppression, Enslavement, Coercion” and “Prey For War”. The first track I mentioned has some of the best guitar work of the album, featuring a mix of shredding and sharp riffs that cut like a hot blade on a nice summer day. The second track is a short but sweet thrash gallop that feels like some sort of early Metallica worship with a hell of a lot more grit. Another worth mentioning is “Sledgehammer/Hell Bent” which provides yet another brilliant example of high octane carnage with a flood of percussion and shreddage. However this time there is an increased emphasis on speed metal influences through the vocals as well as song structure, reminding me of some sort of deranged Judas Priest. HELL BENT sure end things with an exclamation point, which is difficult to do after delivering so many wicked tunes.
“Apocalyptic Lamentations” is one hell of a ride. With the 9 songs coming in at just under 24 minutes, you are left shell shocked and surging with adrenaline when things wrap up. The breakneck speed and attitude are front line through the lamentations with HELL BENT on a clear mission of decimation. I love bands of this nature for this very reason. HELL BENT deliver a relentless stampede of furious riffs and raw power with several memorable accents in the mayhem without overthinking things. While this does not definitively set them apart from the pack, “Apocalyptic Lamentations” will provide a satisfying and worthwhile listen for many old school metalheads as well as the more extreme crowd. They are sure to get the blood pumping, so buckle up and check them out! 7.5/10 Metal Yeti
7.5/10 Victory is Possible!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**