Hellripper is back! Two years after the release of a delightfully scummy split with Batsheva (and following a bevy of other splits and compilation releases) the Scottish hellhound has returned with a brand-new full-length. Coagulating Darkness is another biting dispatch from the filthy crossroads of black metal, speed metal, thrash, and gutter rock 'n' roll. Toxic Holocaust, Inepsy, and Midnight are obvious reference points; ragged howls and howling leads dominate while the bass handles the heavy lifting, and tracks like "Within the Everlasting Hellfire" rumble in with a decidedly Teutonic stomp.
James McBain—the mastermind and multi-instrumentalist behind Hellripper as well as a handful of other projects like the very goth Lockhowl—deftly weaves together choice cuts from each represented genre, focusing more heavily on the 80s speed metal vibes that have infiltrated the project's formerly crustier punk focus. The resulting album feels as much a homage as it does an original creation... which, given the backwards-facing tendencies of black, speed, and thrash metal, means he's nailed it.
"I feel like Coagulating Darkness is a natural progression sound-wise for Hellripper. The first few releases had a very prominent punk influence but on this album I toned that down a bit and focused on incorporating a lot more of a speed/thrash sound into the mix. I was lucky enough to get a few people involved with this album; Calum Carruthers, Clark Core, Marianne Mathieu and my parents all provided additional vocals as well as David Ingram (Echelon, ex-Bolt Thrower, ex-Hail of Bullets). Again, my friend Mark Lerche provided a couple of great guitar solos to the record. The album as usual was recorded DIY at my house and was mixed by myself also. Damian Herring (Horrendous) mastered the album, and Skadvaldur painted the excellent cover art."
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