Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags
Review by Vladimir on February 18, 2023.
Most people who are actively following bands signed to Peaceville Records are well aware of Hellripper’s reputation as Scotland’s most respected black/speed metal act in recent years. James McBain has successfully managed to transcend the spirit of oldschool metal alive into his music with all the fire-breathing and devil horns screaming out of those songs, while also staying on his feet as long as there remains a strong devotion to the cause. On February 17th 2023, Hellripper returned with yet another banger full-length album Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags. Let’s have a look at what wretched devilry or hellspawn has been summoned by this evil and wicked black ‘n’ roll.
From the get-go, the first track 'The Nuckelavee' already kicks everything off with evil and melodic black/speed metal riffing full of wicked rock ‘n’ roll, harsh vocals and speed metal drums that switch to double-bass drumming when things get even more intense, while the second track 'I, The Deceiver' pumps everything even more with double-bass drumming. The title track 'Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags' has a “tender” feel to it with slow melodic riffs, clean acoustic guitar interludes, heavy metal solos, bagpipes and mid-tempo drumming which altogether create an amazing, powerful and emotional performance. The fifth track 'The Cursed Carrion Crown' would probably be one of the highly recommended tracks due to the fact that it has the most wild and intense speed metal riffing, Maiden-esque melodies with a high pitched scream in the beginning, blast beats and double-bass drumming adding the sweetest cherry on the top. You’re probably thinking at this point that I fell in love with this album judging by everything I’ve said, haven’t you? Well, you are not wrong, because this was something that I have not expected to possess this extraordinary level of greatness. Beside the songwriting, the sound production is also excellent, the guitar sounds sharp and powerful, every riff, every melody and every guitar solo is placed at its highest peak, drums are on point and kickass and the vocals are very pivotal and well done in the mix.
Hellripper’s third album Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags should be described, without a doubt, as “All killer, no filler!” from the bottom of my heart. The presentation and the overall songwriting are excellent from the very start and I can say for sure that during my listening, there were no average moments and no filler songs to make up for the album’s length, which is a very rare thing nowadays where musicians run out of ideas quickly or rush everything. I was completely blown away by it and I am totally going to highlight this as one of the top albums of the year 2023. Whatever January failed to deliver, Hellripper is here to make it up for February and this is definitely an album you wouldn’t want to mess with, especially now that the band is stronger than ever before. If you are an oldschool maniac, check out Hellripper’s new album, you don’t want to miss it!
Rating: 9.6 out of 10500