HELLMOUTH are a crossover band from Detroit that was formed in 2008. Their first breakout to the scene was through their sophomore album “Gravestone Skylines” back in 2010. It took them seven years to come up with the follow up album “Oblivion” so let’s see what’s up with that.
“Oblivion” does crossover in dark setting, using blackened chord progressions and temperamental melodies when those are present, because for the most part you’re overwhelmed by sheer force and aggression expressed in crusty blast beats, thrash metal riffage and hardcore elements. What I like a lot about this album is that it’s moody despite the rare use of melodies and the overall punk feel (I can definitely hear some early KVELERTAK along with your classic D.R.I and S.O.D. in there), it has a certain charm and character that sticks with you till the end of the album.
Maybe it’s the often slowed-down tempo that offers a feeling of despair yet still manages to pump you up, maybe it’s the amazing cover artwork, it sure sets a certain mood and atmosphere. Instrumentally the album is nothing special, but quite honestly it doesn’t have to be anything more than it already is to achieve a solid result. The vocals have a metallic vibe to them that serves the album’s style well and contribute to the whole concept of the minimal significance humanity possesses in the universe.
“Crusty blast beats, thrash metal riffage and hardcore elements.”
Unfortunately, not all is blissful in “Oblivion”. The album has 16 tracks but very few of them stand out if taken out of context. This is a record you have to listen from beginning to end in order to fully appreciate it. There are riffs that are catchy but there are also riffs that hit me as something out of, for lack of better words, a high school band and I mean this in a way that structure and guitar work sometimes feel unrefined and underworked.
I should also mention that the mix is very decent although sometimes it feels over compressed. Nothing too bad though.
HELLMOUTH have constructed a pretty solid piece of work that if you’re a fan of hating humans, crossover, thrash metal and blackened hardcore, like me, you’ll blast your speakers into oblivion listening to it.