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'Erased By The Dark'
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'The Heart (Save Me)'
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'Hellbent'
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HARDWARES

HELLBASTARD

Sons Of Bitches

(PATAC)

Reviewed by : Greg Pratt
Rating : 7.5

I've lived my life with one rule firmly in place, and one rule only: if your band was on the classic Grindcrusher compilation (Earache, '91 version), you are good. HELLBASTARD were on the classic Grindcrusher compilation, so even though I'd never really gotten around to checking them out, I figured they were good. These English crust punkers only put out a pair of full-lengths in the early '90s, then returned in 2009 with The Need To Kill, and have been active with EPs and splits since. Despite their sporadic output, they certainly have a handle on what they're doing; I'm just not convinced the listener will. Combining crust punk and hardcore with grind and groove and some SLAYER worship here and there, there's also a sense of drama like AMEBIX or NEUROSIS' early material. So, cool mix, damned if all these songs don't go on for a bit too long, though, even though sometimes, as on EP highlight 'System Whore', everything falls into place and everything makes sense. Whatever Hellbastard are doing, they're doing a good job of it, it's just that they're doing it on their own terms, uncompromisingly so. My biggest complaint with all their comeback output: the production is far too stiff and processed for music that should sound raw and emotive. If that snare drum had nuance instead of relentless triggered assault, the impact would be so much more powerful. Regardless, Hellbastard were on Grindcrusher. Hellbastard are good.



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