Hellbutcher – Hellbutcher

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Rising like a burning phoenix from the ashes of Nifelheim, Hellbutcher is an international black metal band formed by vocalist Per "Hellbutcher" Gustavsson (ex-Nifelheim), the debut self-titled album 'Hellbutcher' is one of the finest albums I have heard so far this year. The lineup includes Devastator (drums) AKA Martin Axenrot, Necrophiliac (guitars), Eld (bass), and Iron Beast (guitars). The ultimate embodiment of raw black/thrash metal appears to be exempt of the modern sound hence, Hellbutcher infests an aesthetic that will likely draw fans of old-school metal.

Supreme dark evil riffs possess the listener in the first opening moments of ‘The Sword of Wrath’ with the evil frenzy vocals and rapid-fire blitz in full swing. The dual guitars launch aggression and drum bombardments coming under the barrage of hell-fire riffs: you know what you’re dealing with in the debut album. The refined style of the riffing, efficiently handled by Necrophiliac and Iron Beast, presents a high quality of killer hooks and blazing melodies that are instantly catchy. There is nothing here short of absolute utter heaviness and aggression.

While carrying the savage delivery of raw metal on the next track ‘Perdition’ the thrashing battery thunders in a truly entertaining showdown of old-school thrash metal. Think of Kreator and Slayer combined more intensely. PerHellbutcherGustavsson’s vocals are the definition of evil rawness: everything from the guitar solos to the rapid mid-tempo onslaught. Hellbutcher derivates its riffing without any bullshit modern frills, just total mayhem.

The opening riff on ‘Violent Destruction’ kicks on with insane drum rolls while a few acrobatic guitar moves pull some killer solos. The guitars on the debut stem from bands like Bathory and Dissection, but it has some level of intricacy in the nuances of the lead guitars which  are so damned catchy. The riffs viciously lash with the guitar’s biting sound, they bring an abrasive primitive style of proto-type black metal.

There is a sense of refined elements that can be heard in the guitars on tracks like ‘Hordes of the Horned God’. Right after the hooky guitar intro the pacing accelerates into a full stampede. The proverbial riffs deliver some fine and memorable moments. The ability to expand and infuse elements of NWOBHM and black metal is bolstered by the sleek lead guitars. In the meantime the powerful battery keeps everything as raw and evil as it is meant to be.

Hellbutcher has taken steps to refine their craft on the debut album, the songs are less chaotic and there is a focused songwriting that elevates them from mere copycats. In all the blackened aggression and blitzkrieg black metal, the guitar work showcases the cohesiveness. There are plenty of catchy riffs that will stick in your head. The remaining songs like ‘Death’s Ride’ offer some raw, unhinged, dirty blackened roll, with evil-sounding riffs like Motörhead. There are no limits to where Hellbutcher aims.

The propelling fury of the frenzy vocals match the raw tone of the guitars and the melodies that climax on the eve of the crazed soloing madness. Infectious dynamics recalling the frantic blast of the past are all in abundance here. ‘Possessed by the Devil’s Flames’ and ‘Satan’s Power’ signify the old-school roots of Swedish black metal. These two tracks are characterized by skills and creativity showing how Hellbutcher has honed tones of blistering heavy riffs.

The quality of the atmosphere and the drums keep everything flowing, with rawer and more violent riffs remaining as a variation key. The latter track hits at a blistering velocity. Although somewhat primitive, the riffs are played fast and the solos are very chaotic yet extremely sharp and catchy. In terms of rawness Hellbutcher never fails to deliver.

Heavy drum fills put the pedal on the metal and the guitars unleash hellish fury. It is also important to mention that the bass guitar is surprisingly audible throughout most of the album. This is a classic and cult offering from these gentlemen who are clad in iron and leather. It’s impossible not to consider the trademark of Nifelheim on the debut album, but Hellbutcher has managed to maintain escalating dynamics through a high intensity and clinical solos. They continue in the similar blistering fashion on the closing track ‘Inferno’s Rage’.

Blending melody and the thrashing black metal of the 80’s era, the riffs incarnate the roots of the first wave of black metal with aggression and eye-raising technicalities. Anyone who has been a metal fan for over two decades will truly appreciate this nasty piece of Satanic metal.


  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 10/10
  • Mix / Production 10/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 9/10

The necro-lords of  the pure Scandinavian metal militia Hellbutcher surpassed expectations of their first full-length album as they open the gates of hell and attune the devilish choirs of war and destruction.

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