Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Compilations: Hell's Headbangers Vol. 3

Attached to the Denouncement Pyre album I bought earlier this year was this compilation from Hell's Headbangers, one of the better underground metal labels around. I know a lot of these bands because I have a lot of albums from the label's artists.

I am very familiar with a lot of these bands and Destruktor is no exception. the blackened death/thrash metal band from Australia creates a sound very similar to their countrymen in Destroyer 666. That's unsurprising given the scene they come from. Their sound is a little darker and heavier though than D666's newer material. Sonically they sound a bit more like the early more black metal-oriented D666.

Another Australian band I am familiar with, which given my affinity for this scene is completely unsurprising. Shackles is a little bit different though. Shackles has much more of a classic metal sound to them than Destruktor and their ilk. It is a refreshing change of pace and the album these tracks come from is quite good. Unfortunately the band split up recently.

I am still eagerly anticipating a full-length album from these guys who wear their Hellhammer influence on their tattered sleeves. I own the demo and the EP that this is from and they look to be a very impressive rising band. One of these days I am sure they will bless us with a full-length.

This is the first band from this compilation that I was not previously familiar with. The Spanish band is a blend of thrash metal and crust. I am not the biggest fan of crust in the world, but this manages to hold my interest well enough. I don't know if I like it well enough to get an album.

Manticore is a very raw-sounding black/death metal band. They would fit in pretty well with the bands from Texas. This is just raw and filthy sounding metal. Nothing wrong with that. The second track is not quite as impressive as the first.

Much more infamous, than famous, Profanatica was originally a very early black metal band from the United States. Their sound was absolutely disgusting and their stage show matched it. They have lost a little bit of the shock that they used to have and have become more accomplished musicians, but the spirit is still there.

Havohej is the one-man band of Profanatica's Paul Ledney. Like his other band, Havohej is a very raw and dirty sounding band. It is fairly repetitive and simple black metal, much more in line with groups like Burzum and Darkthrone's early black metal material. How you feel about that stuff will influence how you feel about this.

Arphaxat is a French black metal band that oddly creates their music without the use of guitars. The band is the creation of one of the founding members of Deathspell Omega, and does sound a bit like their earlier material, though without the guitars. What results is kind of an unsettling sound. It is definitely interesting.

Holy shit, an Australian band I am not familiar with? Featuring members of Denouncement Pyre, this band definitely fits in with the scene. They have a darker, more evil sound than some of the other bands, sounding much more like Denouncement Pyre than some of the other groups. Still pretty great though. I will be checking them out.

I am a big fan of Atomizer and though these songs come off of my least favorite album by the band, they are still pretty damn good. Jason Healey was completely in command of the band by this point. The clean vocals take a little bit of getting used to. This was Atomizer's swan song and the band will be missed.

Atomic Aggressor is a very raw, occult death metal band. This takes me back to when death metal really sounded evil. Not bad, a little too raw, it would be nice to see what this band could do with some better production.

Nunslaughter has to appear on all of these things. Of course that's because members of the band run the label, but that's beside the point. They of course bring their typical brand of punk-infused death metal to their tracks. The first one has horrendous production, but that's probably done intentionally.

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