Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hetsheads - We Hail The Possessed... [1994]

First off, let me make this lucid. This album, is not an album by any means. It's a demo compilation featuring the bands 1991 demo ''Remonstrating The Preserver'' and a few additional songs. And as far as the bands discography goes, it would be correct to say that it's genuinely short, as it consists of that demo and this compilation. However, one shouldn't be fooled by a band's short lifespan because Hetsheads can conjure the perfect old school Swedeath sound in the simplest way, with no technical nonsense, no other influences whatsoever, just plain, thrashy, chainsaw ripping Swedeath of the most primal kind. Their style is probably nothing that an average death metaller has never heard of, but the sheer brilliance of the dark, cryptic and embalming atmosphere, diversely consuming and engulfing the crushing riffs is one treat no death metal fan should do without.

Their sound is very akin the most primitive kind of Swedish death metal, a sound that resembles early Entombed/Nihilist, Dismember, Grave and other usual suspects, although it would be wrong to say they copy the exact sound. There's plenty of filthy grooving and hardcore-tinged moments of pure death/thrashing mayhem, and also some murky death/doom sequences where you'll find the atmosphere to reach its uttermost peak, and you'll feel the massive oppressive ponderousness thumping against your skullcap. The distorted, crunchy chainsaw guitar tone is there as it has always been, and the band excels in using it to drive the furious chord-driven riffs towards a malicious edge. ''Paganization'' is one good example of the band's murky, horror-laden sound, churning together distorted tremolo bursts with simple Bolt Thrower-esque grooves and doomy grinders. There are some nice acoustic interludes included in some of the more mellow tracks like ''For His Sake'' or the horrific intro instrumental, but sections like that are limited as the album mainly focuses on brutal, unpolished death metal.

I can't really say much more about Hetsheads' stylings, because its pretty limited, though the single, focused beam of precise old school brilliance is enough persuade any old schooler into listening to this. I was so obsessed with the current Swedish death metal trends that I instantly forgot about what was laid right in front of me; the archaic ancestors of all these bands, the real originators, who excelled in creating the grotesque and the macabre. Hetsheads is by no means an originator or a band which which put a milestone for death metal, but they did take that muddy, filthy sound and display it almost perfectly, without straying from that pure path. Simply put it this way; if you're starting to get into old school Swedeath, ''We Hail The Possessed'' demo compilation is just as good of a place to start as those fiendish masterpieces everyone seems to be so eager to worship.

Dissolution By Catatonia
Remonstrating The Preserver
When The Time Has Come

Final Rating
Awesome [8.4/10]