When dealing with themes of the occult, paganism or any suitably blasphemous subject, metal doesn’t always fare so well. Without a sense of humour, the dense themes can overtake the actual music itself, . The best “spooky” death metal needs strong instrumentation and subtle song writing behind it dare it fall dead out the gates. Victim of a lumbering attempt at getting kvlt and shredding too. Italy’s Hellish God throw dark cloak over face, enshrouding the lonely glimpses of light in the dimly lit face of their new record The Evil Emanations. If Death is the Italian national football team of metal, these guys are kicking shit out of each other in the lower leagues.
Allowing some sugar before a deluge of salt, Hellish God are fully capable of writing actively interesting passages of death metal. Everyone’s favourite gap-filling technique, the drum and crunchy bass break, always comes just when the stop button begins to burn red. Dimly. The Behemoth homage (let’s go with homage) during “The Hindering Ones” actually paints a picture in the way that extreme metal can be not bad at. A cavernous echo gives the song body and menacing chants fill that space with something almost resembling dread. And that’s about all of the sugar. The rest of the death metal music offers uninspired guitar work, patchy and uniform percussion. The vocals are predictably nothing to scream about, offering less variety than a salad with two ingredients.
From the the listening processing of music performed by the band known as Hellish God, there’s an abundance of evidence to back up the following claim – the band can’t really start or finish a song. Seriously. There are at least ten minutes of riffs that repeat for just too damned long. Not even for the purpose of getting the heart rate up for a big spill. Because there are none.Tracks fade out at a pedestrian, shambling place into a riff that apparently kicks off the next song. At a shambling, pedestrian pace.
With no real distinction between patterns or actual riffs themselves, the never ending riffbox of this record doesn’t even float, let alone swim. If Hellish God only blasted through some of the kinda fast bits, maybe they’d make a splash. The lack of intricate, low tempo grooves or ripping death riffs has to be due to a competent but cautious approach to the instruments themselves. For much of this record, the band sound like they’re warming up the instruments of a band like Gruesome.
The Evil Emanations is a conundrum within itself. It makes sense that getting rid of any fat (about four bars of every riff on the record) would leave a product like this ready for human consumption but no. It would literally just trim the running time down. A relatively recent entry into the wide world of passive-aggressive blog salting, hopefully Hellish God can summon a better grade next time around. Definitely not fitting of the Church of Satan. Senior year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.
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The Evil Emanations is available now via Everlasting Spew Records.