Reviewed: February 2018
Released: 2018, Everlasting Spew Records
Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
Reviewer: Joel Wheeler
Hellish God hail from the city of Campobasso in the south of Italy and pull no punches saying up-front that they play satanically inspired death metal, ’90s sounding satanic death metal at that. The band started back in 2015 and ‘The Evil Emanations’ is their first full-length offering, following their previous 2016 ‘Impure Spiritual Forces’ EP release.
They go on to explain that the idea for the ‘The Evil Emanation’ is “conceptually focused on Qlipoth, metaphorical shells which represent evil spiritual forces in the Jewish mysticism.” So, we’re back against the ropes on the metal-tropes… I’m not a fan of ‘book clubs’ generally, be that in any ‘light’, but I shall endeavor to put this in the filing cabinet for the benefit of making this about the music. ’90s death metal was my era growing up entering the bold world of extreme metal, so let’s see what Hellish God have for us… The label on the tin says for fans of Azarath, Rebaelliun, Centurian, Krisiun, and Abhorrence… I’m on-board.
‘Kelim Shattering Illumination’ sets a miserable scene with a storm-laden piano driven intro which quickly throws you into the death spiral that is ‘Qlipoth’, Tya’s vocals thundering out in a way somewhat akin to Chris Barnes (Six Feet Under). Initial impressions are that this album is very much a love letter to the ’90s (as intended), with viscerally classic ‘old school’ death metal riffage pouring vehemently over some accomplished snare and double kick bludgeoning that never shies away from its destiny as a sonic jack-hammer. As I listened on, it’s clear that we’re not going to get anything vastly innovative here, moreover, some true to form brutal death metal… This really isn’t a problem, but it’s not going to appeal as much to the new wave of ‘metalites’ breaking the ranks of gigs, pubs, and clubs everywhere. When did I get old? … Damn.
Moving on, this isn’t an album that wants to compromise… ever! There are no embarrassing break-downs, interludes… respectable, in fact, the only breather you get is in ‘Choronzonic Hellfire’ which is 16 seconds of demonic sounds before delivering us unto ‘Agitator Shall Be Triumphant!’. The album does lend itself to a bit of ‘wash-over’, where a lot of riffs and blast segments ultimately aren’t that memorable, I’m really struggling to pick out a particular section or song out of my head after listening through this a number of times. The bass work is refreshingly exploratory at times, not being shy to show its character, poking its head through the mix at times, but largely buried in the mix. My favorite track here is ‘Agitator Shall Be Triumphant!’ due in part to some nice bass touches. The guitars are satisfyingly savage, unrelenting, and pounding from start to finish. In closing… ‘The Evil Emanations’ is a little flawed with minor timing issues (no click?) but is belligerently brutal and accomplishes its mission to be an old school death metal assault, it just sadly fails to leave me with any real lasting impression in an unending sea of bands and albums. I subscribe to the notion that music needs ‘hooks’ and we’re starving here.