Blackened Thrash from Brazil given the Fenriz thumbs up. Power From Hell have slapped on their corpse paint and strapped on the spikes to let rip with some orange squeezing , head snapping horrors. This is their 6th album in 18 years and Bathory, early Immortal and Japan’s Sabbat are still the anti heroes that they emulate. Diabolical ditties about Elizabeth Bathory , Witches and naughty night time nookie abound with rasped vocals, tinny drums and buzzsaw guitars. Lots of reverb on the vocals and drum patterns straight off of The Exploited’s first album – “Elizabeth Needs Blood” I’m listening to you – , this is punky cartoonish fun. Sodomic’s vocals have an Abbath quality that works well, just the right combination of rasp and rock and roll. The guitar work, aided and abetted by Bloodhunter and thick string abuser Tormentor is simple and explosive which is exactly what is needed for this visceral genre. “Lust……Sacrilege & Blood” sounds like it could have slotted into Northern Chaos gods , thought T. Splatter’s drums could do with being a little higher in the mix to get that Horgh bombast. Nocturnal Desire gets a bit of hip swinging groove on amid the staccato up picking, time for a boogie with your goats head mask on. As the album goes on I am transported back in time. In a time where a lot of BM has taken on the mantel of prog and folk for tracks like “Lucy’s Curse and “Unholy Dimension” to be full pelt raging horn flickers with fake blood makes me grin from ear to ear. The cymbal that sounds like a whip crack in “Diabolical witchcraft” is fantastic. Is it meant to sound like some sordid sex dungeon? I dunno but it does and its pomp filth fills me with glee.
Now I called this band cartoonish earlier. I do not mean this as an insult. Power From Hell are outlandish, grandiose yet lo-fi, devilish but brimming with innocent fun and abandon. This is what metal is about surely? We can all kid ourselves that we got into Death, Black and thrash metal because we were hard nosed sadists who live for der brootalz and satan. In reality what I and most other folk who picked up a copy of “Under the Sign…” or “Battle in the North” wanted was to be transported into a different world where light and dark don’t differ and blokes in leather can run around with flaming torches in dimly lit caverns. Some choose LARPing , some watch LOTR obsessively , I chose metal.
Power From Hell are the embodiment of that teenage wonderment. They are a smuggled VHS copy of Nekromantik watched at a friend’s house, a well thumbed South American zine from the early 90’s , a 4th generation tape traded copy of a Death demo.
Power From Hell are not the future but they represent a lot of our pasts. For that I thank them.
(7/10 Matt Mason)