Reviewed: January 2021
Released: 2021, Odium Records
Reviewer: Pete Mutant
Polish death metal act Hell-Born have returned with their 6th full release, nearly 13 years after 2008’s ‘Legacy Of The Nephilim’. A bit of a hiatus for the band came to an end as we have recently been peppered with a couple of splits since though these were nine years apart themselves. Quite a long while really, but Hell-Born certainly are back and seem to have not lost their sound further on in the band’s existence.
They have been about since 1996 after all and formed by the core of Les (guitar/vocals) and Baal Ravenlock (drums/vocals previously; bass/vocals now). They were joined last year by vastly experienced drummer Diabolizer who had his first contributions released with the band’s split with Offence back in 2019. As if thus trio wasn’t a force to be reckoned with itself, they’ve also had a helping hand from Behemoth’s Nergal in the production of their returning release.
Bassist/vocalist Baal Ravenlock was once of Behemoth and it never hurts to get another veteran of the metal world on hand to assist. There are some slight similarities between the two band in terms of style though Behemoth have had several phases throughout their history and Hell-Born have had a bit of a transition as well. With this album ‘Natas Liah’ -Hail Satan backwards in case you never noticed- it’s very much a continuation of where the band left off with their last full release.
The opening track is probably the best and brings all the elements of the band’s qualities into a solid track. Hell-Born have a refined quality to their sound and there’s very much a consistency to it all. So much so that we don’t really move into other realms with the music and it’s very much a continuation of a similar format and structure throughout. This goes for the tempo also as it’s all very mid paced without really breaking furiously at any point. No other track really stands out apart from the final track ‘Blakk Metal’ which has its own character unlike many of the other tracks.
So, overall, not a very triumphant return. Though there are some good moments, it just lacks much impetus and therefore falls towards impotence. I really do like some of the melodic passages but there’s not enough other qualities to really sell this return. If you’re a fan of their last album then you’ll be sure to enjoy this new piece of work. Who knows what lies in store for Hell-Born but they’re experienced musicians and will be glad to be back doing what they love to do. Hopefully they’ll be back once again ready to branch out a little as they won’t win too many over like this.