Helslave – “From The Sulphur Depths” (Pulverised Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed 12 years ago in Rome, Helslave already have one demo, two EPs and a full-length album under their belt. Revelling in old school HM-2 Swe-deth, “From The Sulphur Depths” takes this sophomore right back to the glory days of Dismember, Entombed and Grave right down to Dan Swanö’s (ex-Edge Of Sanity, ex-Bloodbath, Witherscape, etc) production and artwork by Juanjo Castellano (Portrait, Revel In Flesh, The Black Dahlia Murder, etc)! Sticking to the trademark sound of filthy guitars, melancholic funeral melodies, roaring vocals, distorted bass and hammer smashing drums delivered across a range of tempos, I wouldn’t say the 10 tracks are striving for originality, however, the HM-2 style is delivered to perfection with tons of hooks, huge catchy grooves and also a splendid use of atmosphere, really evoking a morbid presence. Blurring in on ‘Thrive In Blasphemy’ whirring twin axe riffola collides with fast, chopping beats and Diego Laino’s primal beast roars before unloading a gargantuan headbanger of a slo-mo groove that will have you in ecstasy as the spirally funeral melodies lay you sweetly in the ground! Rolling in the grooves on ‘Last Nail In The Coffin’ in between whirring blast beats, Laino’s drawn out hollow gutturals offer an excellent contrast to the music, as do Francesco Comerci’s precision double bass beats in adding to the rollacoaster of furore that will you have you basking in HM-2 brilliance. Unleashing hell on ‘Desecration’, the twin guitars of Jari Sgarlato and Marco Benedetti are simply on overdrive in piling in the whirring death riffola and morbid melodies while ghostly choirs echo in the background as Laino roars and belches it out until the excellent mid song passage of deathly ambiance. Crashing in spectacularly on ‘Rotting Pile Of Flesh’, the instruments fight it out savagely as Laino drawls his disgust as fast funeral melodies join Comerci’s double bass stampede made even more colossal through Luca Riccardelli’s booming bass in this all out mosher. All in all an excellent release from the Italian masters of Swe-deth!