Tuesday, July 16, 2019

review: Hellscream

Hellscream: Hate Machine
Pure Steel Records July 26th, 2019
This U.S. entity assembles a very consistent album for die-hard fans of traditional heavy metal. They eliminate the weak points of various subgenres and reconstitute it as a thrashy form of heavy metal. What are the things that fans don’t like about thrash? Very often people complain about the punk yelling, the nasal screaming, the lack of singing skill in the hollering. On the other hand, traditional and melodic subgenres like power metal often have mojo-destroying ballads. They frequently also lack horsepower, and seem like bands who want to be boy/pop bands with a little bit more guitars. The happy keyboards only confirm those suspicions.
Enter the music of Hellscream. It is David Garcia on guitar from the long-running band Cage, and Imagika’s singer Norman Skinner whose versatile skills have impressed due to a wide variety of vocal styles and abilities. They are joined by Casey Trask on guitar, Sean Elg on drums, and Alex Pickard on bass. Imagine a band that likes the speed and tempos of thrash, but gets rid of the substandard singing and punk elements, and imagine a band that wants the catchiness and the singing of traditional heavy metal and power metal, and makes it thrash power metal with strong singing—with no ballads, no love songs—an album that personifies headbanging music. If you do not like high screams, this is probably not for you. There are various tones to the voice, and air raid siren is a fundamental part of it. The voice also has a lower tone that fits the heavier, faster or somber segments. In addition, there is a more melancholic tone that offers a third contrasting mood. A very convincing album.

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