Danish band Helhorse have been making a good bit of noise in the scene recently and all sorts of people had been telling me to lend them an ear. So here we are and within seconds of the perfectly titled ‘Fuck Art, Let’s Kill’ literally roaring in to life I am in no doubt as to why. Pure rock fury. It’s the most gloriously dirty blues boogie riff, odd organ sound and pissed off gruff and howled vocals; the kind that shakes venue walls.
Clearly here to do more than make up the numbers they continue with a more heads down stoner battering ram with ‘Hell Hath No Fury’. Helhorse have a sound that is immediately tagged as somewhere round the Scandinavian mark, just something about that sound, but with a great dollop of hardcore and lead weight behind it. Church Of Misery bruising meets Black Flag maybe.
The weird thing happens when they slow down on ‘The Seams Of Life’, that weird thing that happens to every Scandinavian stoner band I’ve heard in the last five years or so. They go grunge. Don’t get me wrong, particularly when this gets to adding the backing vocals this is a fine, world weary song but like every other time I hate this kind of thing I want them to go back to the source, not some year 2000 or later thing. Seriously, everyone, for grunge go to the utter despair of the first two Alice In Chains albums. The nihilism of the first two Mindfunk. The Temple Of The Dog collaboration. Not the pale later incarnations. Thankfully, maybe uniquely, Helhorse sail way closer to those than anyone else I’ve heard recently and it turns into a scouring song of pain.
‘The Carnal Rage’ stomps the accelerator once more and finally I see the hardcore meets Monster Magnet comparisons I’ve heard mention; a lunatic, nihilistic lead loaded flash-bomb hurled by a bunch of glorious nutters. Great vocals and a cracking, spaced out but heavy as Sabbath riff. It has an anger to it too that threads through the whole album, adding spine and spite to songs like the baleful ‘Red Eye’ with it’s hard bouncing riff and Church Of Misery howling vocals or the short, jaggedly short hardcore ‘n’ roll of ‘Kill Your Self’. Brilliant stuff. Grin ache is setting in already.
Helhorse have a superbly bass heavy approach to this whole music thing. You hear it flapping about like the down-tuned beating of some bat-like leviathan and the rock solid riff comes on through it beautifully. So many riffs, too. So many reasons to listen or just lose your shit. Listen to the totally impassioned vocals on the superb ‘Death Comes To The Sleeping’ (you are getting the theme here right?) Great use of organ sound here just add to this salt in wounds raw emotion and the punishing, dense riff.
‘And His Name Is Death’ is death boogie with some clean(er) vocals alongside the hardcore screaming: A great, almost joyous release with guitar hooks and a bounce that’ll hammer you clean through the roof.
These guys should be a total riot live.
Nothing too long, nothing self- indulgent, just total commitment to the bludgeon and the song. On the basis of Oh Death, this angry, grim bunch of hardcore death ‘n’ boogie guys are gonna go far.
Fuck Art, Let’s Kill. It most certainly does.