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Hellish Bring Forth “The Night”

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Anyone who wants to wager their bullet-belt that Hellish took its name from Iron Angel’s 1985 debut Hellish Crossfire will likely have no problem keeping their pants up. Their love for the cult band is obvious even without taking into consideration their grimy cover of “Stronger Than Steel” on last year’s Only Death Bandcamp demo; the phalanx of demos, an EP, a live debut, and one previous studio full-length (Grimoire) all reverentially rekindle the days when Sodom and Destruction emerged from Germany to set the burgeoning underground afire with a particularly gnashing, helter-skelter sound.

The Spectre of Lonely Souls is the band’s second full-length album and first to be released by Unspeakable Axe Records (although the Dark Descent thrash sublabel did reissue Grimoire early last year). A lot hasn’t changed: furious and forceful rhythms like a Bavarian beer hall kicked into overdrive, dive-bomb guitar solos, and hoarse reverb-echoed yelps from Claudio Miranda who goes by the nom-de-metal Necromancer because, of course, what he does is still what Hellish does best. Check out an exclusive stream of the album’s second track “The Night” below.

“The Night” shows that the Chilean crew has updated their sound while still remaining true to the era, incorporating ideas still rooted in thrash metal’s formative years but expanding them to what was happening in other regions.

Opening the album, the minute-long somber baroque piano intro “Rising” reminds of period albums that kicked off similarly (most notably Megadeth’s “Last Rites” from Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! but also Exxplorer’s Symphonies of Steel, among others). Following “The Night,” the underlying runaway riffs of “The Screams Come from the Inside” are like Slayer’s punkiest moments on the Haunting the Chapel EP. And, everything is covered in blackened soot like it fell from the sky after a volcanic eruption a continent away, similar to fellow South Americans Sarcófago and Holocausto.

On The Spectre of Lonely Souls, Hellish pays uncompromising homage to the bands which inspired them. In doing so, they made an album that can be played alongside those classics and more than hold its own.

The Spectre of Lonely Souls will be released on July 27 via Unspeakable Axe Records. Follow Hellish on Facebook. Pre-orders are open from the label site or Bandcamp.

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