Monday, January 2, 2012

This Is Hell Unleashes Black Mass

There’s a new addition to my ever growing “music to get a speeding ticket to” collection. This Is Hell has just unleashed a new album entitled Black Mass and it is definitely worthy of being added to that collection. It’s a full-on assault of the senses that just crawls underneath your skin and spreads all over your body.

The guys released Weight of the World in 2010 and it was their first album since leaving Trustkill for Rise Records. If that album was a step in the right direction for the band, then this new album is a huge leap for them. The band seems to be tighter and more focused than ever. One may even say that they are hungry and feel as if they have something to prove.

The first track on the album, “Acid Rain”, definitely sets the tone of the album and that tone is intensity and aggression. This takes me back to the early days of thrash with Slayer and Anthrax. The riffs are so insane on here that it should come with a “no responsible for spontaneous acts of air guitar” disclaimer!

They don’t even give you a chance to catch your breath as “Black Rain” and, my personal favorite; “Salt the Earth” continue the onslaught. The two guitar assault of Rick Jimenez and Chris Mazella is something of sheer power and brutality. There will be many a horn thrown in honor of these shredders throughout the world upon listening to this album.

Next up is the title track and for a mere 13 seconds, the band lets up on you with a slow, acoustic intro, but don’t be fooled. The pedal is then pressed to the floor and the thrash onslaught continues. Mike “I’m Gonna Beat the Living Hell Outta My Drum kit” Sciulara is a beast beyond control on here. He puts in a solid performance on every track, but this one left me exhausted.

“The Outlaw” has one of those infectious guitar riff intros that enter the ear and nests in your brain causing an instant mosh pit in your head. “Demons” then pushes the gas to the floor again and takes off at top speed. The level of intensity on this album just makes you shake your head in amazement.

I have to admit that I was totally floored by this album musically and exhausted by the end of it. It’s a non-stop joy ride on the hardcore highway. The guys sound tighter than ever and more focused. I love the old school thrash tone to the album too. This may just be the bands’ best offering since they debuted in 2006. Put this one on, crank up loud and sweat a few pounds off in the process.

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