A little late to the party, but with this album it’s worth it. In case you missed it, there was a ripple that turned into a tsunami back in October when this album first roared into the night. Paul Hutchings takes a listen to the latest release from Hellripper!
Hellripper is the blackened thrash cacophony of solo Scot James McBain and he’s been producing his own
form of spawned bile since 2014. The Affair of the Poisons has grabbed the thrash and metal world by the lapels and dragged them kicking and screaming into his darkened sphere of filthy blackened rock n’ roll filled thrash. It’s an album that cuts across genres, appealing to many who may not always find the explosive nature of thrash metal to their tastes. There’s a bit of punk, some black metal, death metal and of course ample lashing of thrash at its core.
At 30 minutes in length, this is a real intense hammering which doesn’t let up from the title track which opens the album to the closing song The Hanging Tree. This is a passionate workout which combines influences such as Sabbat, Venom, Motörhead, Exodus and early Onslaught, all woven together in a retro yet fresh maelstrom. Fast, incredibly fast at times, the songs fly by with a visceral propulsion that is raw and yet well-honed. McBain’s growling roars won’t be for everyone although personally I think they work extremely well. As does the flashing guitar work, the pulverising rhythm section and the pummelling wall of
riffs which simply blast away from start to finish.
At times it appears rather rudimentary stuff, but the unrefined approach is actually a bit cleverer than may be apparent, and surely one of the attractions on this blistering release is the retro feel of the whole record. Each track contains something a little different, despite the blueprint being somewhat repetitious. And it may be the repeated blasts to the cranium that make The Affair of the Poisons the huge breath of fresh air that it has been in 2020. Along with Devastator, Hellripper provides new takes on old styles with impressive results.