Black/death metal supergroup formation Hell Strike debuts their mini-album ‘Hellstrike‘ via Chaos Records on July 16th, 2021. The lineup features members from the U.S. death metal bands Ascended Dead, Ritual Necromancy and Bloodsoaked. Presenting six bestial blackened death metal songs with a total duration of twenty-three minutes, Hellstrike brings on the old school tradition of the mid-nineties era in such a thrilling way. The group seems to be influenced by the likes of Necrophobic, Sadistic Intent and Mortem. The band has clearly achieved a sort of cohesion and it seems that the chemistry between the experienced members resulted in a promising creation of a new entity. From the dexterous work of the tremolo-picked riffs and the bestial vocals, Hell Strike conjures a demonic carnival of aggression. Riffs surge in power backed by the tempest eruption of the blast beats. Emanating a mysterious aura of barbarous death metal, the lineup includes Charlie Koryn (drums/background vocals), Jonathan Quintana (Lead guitars/background vocals), José Luis Rodríguez (Lead guitars, vocals) and Jon Reiner (bass guitar).
The demonic intensity of the quartet assimilated into the old school influences from the early nineties death metal. The opening track ‘Cadaveric Requiem‘ conveys the savage and the goatish manifestation of wicked growls whereas the riffs seem to float from the otherworldly realms of the cavernous old school. Taking many elements from underground death metal, the songs are enclosed with a complex amalgamation of morbid riffs and feverish growls. ‘Chains of Frost‘ reeks with malevolent quality. The track moves from mid to fast tempo with dual guitars offering some heavy frenzied grooves. The most crucial part is when the drums fire the cylinders and execute some clinical blast beats. On the third track ‘First Born of Fire‘ the quartet show impressive skills in the songwriting prowess, Hell Strike brings many variations to the songs.
Guitarists José Luis Rodríguez and Johnatan Quintana managed to deliver a striking array of riffs. Through the combination of slow mid-tempo paces, the song roams around the crushing style of death/doom metal. There is absolutely no question about the skills of the drummer Charlie Koryn who offers some breakneck speed and blast beats. Despite the blackish tone of the vocals ‘Hellstrike‘ mostly centers on classic raw death. The buzz-saw riffs provide quality melodies and shredding tremolos. The band eschews any unnecessary frills and provides some of the best iterations of raw bestial blackened death metal I’ve ever heard in a while. ‘Morbid Abnormality of the Ages‘ is a short track of two minutes, but delivers some fascinating ominous growls that would bring to mind Incantation and Sadistic Intent.
The sonic pulsation of the organic riffing and tight drumming is professionally crafted, soaked in raw, barbaric riffage. Hell Strike have outdone themselves on their debut mini-album. ‘Re-Abortion‘ is equipped with evil cavernous growls. The propelling force of the tremolo-picked riffs and the melodies are widely showcased on this track.
The songwriting captures the cult fashion of the Swedish black metal. However, Hell Strike divulges the old school influences from Scandinavian bands like Necrophobic. The closing track is focused on the fluency of the instrumentation bringing more diversity compared to the prior ones. ‘Transylvanian Funeral‘ veers into slow atmospheric quality. “Hellstrike” is recommended for fans of Swedish black metal and U.S. raw death metal. With only five tracks and an instrumental outro, the quartet has managed to release one of the best releases of the year 2021.
Release Date: July 16th, 2021
Label: Chaos Records
- Cadaveric Requiem
- Chains of Frost
- First Born of Fire
- Morbid Abnormality of the Ages
- Transylvanian Funeral