Released: 2015, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
While work on their fourth album – and first since 1997 - for new label overlords Metal Blade, resurrected Swedish ragers Gehennah - not to be confused Norwegian black metallers Gehenna - have taken their four-track Metal Police EP from last year, gussied it up and re-issued it as a full-length that will likely provide most folks outside of Europe their first real taste of the band.
Now fattened out to 12 tracks, with the addition of two songs from the Metal Police sessions and six re-recorded older tunes, Metal Police is an even bigger and badder celebration of drinking, fighting, fucking and rawk! – or any combination thereof. Recalling a four-car pileup of Motorhead, Hellacopters, Nashville Pussy and Toxic Holocaust, the band's freewheeling, balls out thrash 'n roll is sloppy, salacious, profane and petulant. As it should be.
From the tough-guy bluster of “Four Knuckle Facelift” and “Carve Off Your Face (And Shove It Up Your Ass)” to the self-explanatory and quite hilarious “Fuck 'Em All” - “You better watch your ass or I'll fuck that too!” - and the barroom rabble of “666 Drunks & Rock 'n Roll,” “Black Jack Loser” and “Piss Off, I'm Drinking” Gehennah pull no punches and take no prisoners. I guess we should expect nothing less from a band whose frontman goes by the handle Mr. Violence.
The music is loud, fast and almost always bordering on out of control, offering little in the way of frills but plenty of gut-punching cheap thrills. The sawing, Lemmy-esque bass licks of one Charley Knuckleduster are especially cool as they run laps around and through the scraggly riffs of Rob Stringburner and flailing drums of Hellcop. And the band's unwavering, couldn't give a shit attitude and crass, but biting wit are hard to resist.
Hope the new stuff can live up – or, in this case, live down – to what Gehennah's got going on here.