Review – Hellripper – Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags

Aye Up Thrashers, Neil Bolton checks out the latest album from one man blackened thrash royalty, James McBain, here’s what he thinks…

Hellripper’s back catalogue has been pretty stellar so far; so, a mix of goat worshipping E.P.s and albums already exist, will this high standard be met once more? 

Well….. to be blunt… yes.

“Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags” begins in the way any fan of James McBain’s metal would hope for and appreciate. Well played aggressive blackened thrash penetrates the speakers bringing a grin to the face and memories of the single time I have witnessed this spectacle in a live setting. It’s just a glory for any fan of metal to sink into this music and the devilish world McBain has created. 

By the time title track kicks in the intensity has lowered slightly; the skilful metal is only slightly slower, but it is still wretched and good. Anthemic guitar solos add to the metal mix  giving Hellripper another layer to admire and enjoy. A Celtic seasoning is mixed in at the end of the track, leaving the listener fulfilled.

The blackened thrash blasts back to the fore with “Goat Vomit Nightmare”, an awesomely monikered track to complement an awesome song. The guitar work does not falter and my head continues to bob. 

The fast pace quickens more with “The Cursed Carrion Crow”  a scream and a fast riff leaves you in no doubt who you are listening to. Speed, metal, and diabolical intent are the winners here, as well as the listener.  

A mix of speed metal and traditional metal flow through this release in a very pleasing manner. 

An 8.31 min speed metal monster closes this album with the style and flare you expect from this one man talent. Yes there are a couple of guest contributions on show here, but this is the work of one Scottish, hellish, metallic talent.

Any worries about a dip in quality are entirely burnt at the stake. One thought now races through my mind, to play this offering once more, while pouring over the outstanding album art. Dreaming of demons, witches, and carrion crows. With the mouth watering thought of witnessing Hellripper live once more there is very little more a metal head could crave. 

Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags will be released on 17th February by Peaceville on CD, LP, limited edition green coloured vinyl LP via the band store, limited edition gold coloured vinyl LP, cassette and digitally and is available to pre-order here

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