Hellman – Born, Suffering, Death (Black Lodge / Sound Pollution)Monday, 22nd January 2024
From Chile comes Hellman – the brainchild of vocalist/bassist Felipe Ferrada, best known for his front of house work at live shows and running an international booking agency Ferroda Booking. Rounding out the lineup are drummer Pedro Pablo Puente (of thrash act Conflicted) and guitarist Sebastián Puente (veteran of thrash group Nuclear) – releasing a demo Desktop Genocide in the fall of 2022 as they prepared to write/record this debut album entitled Born, Suffering, Death. The ten tracks serve up volatile, groove-oriented death ‘n’ roll, lyrically touching upon human social conflict, environmental devastation, and the turbulent life of humans in the current society that should assault all senses in the best way power trios deliver for this genre.
The stripped-down nature of the instrumentation beyond the natural, in your face tones / production atmosphere gives the material this plug in to play attitude that provides plenty of catchy refrains next to the primal music. Solos that make sense, basic riffs next to supportive heavy groove rhythm section activities – it’s similar to what one would have expected from a lot of European artists in the 1990’s who weren’t afraid to inject punk / rock ‘n’ roll mechanics into the heavier mainframe thrash or death styles. The mini-drum solo break next to the four-on-the-floor foundational locomotive riffs for “Unnecessary Consuming” revels in its classic Motörhead-ish glory, while the alluring gallop next to some alternative chugging, low-tuned picking puts “A Waste of Human Being” into another potent highlight, Felipe’s fervent bark mirroring the jackhammer atmosphere to the max almost like Prong careening headfirst into Sepultura. Smiles must abound when pushing the accelerator to the floor in sections of “The Cycle” only to lay back into this crossover breakdown sure to maximize circle pit action – while the group also reach back into the Wolverine Blues-era of Entombed for their rendition of “Out of Hand” – Pedro pounding his snare for all its worth, while the guitars slice through the mix for the best death roll obliteration in sound.
Thirty-three minutes later, Hellman should leave their listeners clamoring for more – the ideal to achieve on a record like Born, Suffering, Death. Time will tell if this develops into more of an active entity given these musicians already busy schedules, but let’s hope that they keep cranking out more material for their creative output warrants it.