Brazil’s Hellgarden come roaring to life with their incredibly entertaining debut, Making Noise, Living Fast. Putting together an album of hard rocking metal tunes that will get many a fist pumping through the air, Hellgarden set out to cement themselves at the center of a return to the thrashy groove metal stylings that Pantera seems to have taken with them upon their departure.
Far from breaking new ground, Hellgarden‘s sound can be easily seen as directly derivative of Pantera‘s Vulgar Display of Power. Ruthlessly aggressive vocals? Check. Belligerently pounded drums? You got it. Guitar pitch acrobatics? Oh yes. Overall “Don’t Fuck With Us” attitude? Yep, the gang’s all here.
However, there is one thing that creates a clear distinction between this release and the innumerable clone acts that have come before it, and that is the simple fact that to’s one is really goddamn good.
Musically punishing, yet filled to the brim with memorable hooks, Making Noise, Living Fast packs one hell of a punch for grice metal fans. It’s loud and aggressive, yet fun and upbeat all the while. It can be enjoyed in the mosh pit, fighting for your Lee, and around the bonfire, sharing some brews with the boys equally. Breakdowns in songs like Evolution or Destruction are impossible not to dance to. Guitar work is wonderful from start to finish. The vocal badassery of lead single and new metal party favorite, Learned to Play Dirty, is a great time.
But the comparisons to Pantera will always linger. Some may cruelly decree it a rip off, while others might simply brush it off as unoriginal and derivative. I just don’t think that that is a fair argument. This album is just too good for that. Do Hellgarden sound like Pantera? Good good, yes, undeniably. But is that such a bad thing? The world has searched far and wide for the new Beatles ever since they parted ways, and that was four decades ago. Maybe we deserve a new one. A new Pantera for a new era. One without the drug abuse, in fighting and persistent hints towards white supremacy. If they want to, I’d say with complete certainty, Hellgarden is that band.
Release date: April 10th, 2020.
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