Hellbutcher - Official Website


Sweden Country of Origin: Sweden

1. The Sword Of Wrath
2. Perdition
3. Violent Destruction
4. Hordes Of The Horned God
5. Death's Rider
6. Possessed By The Devil's Flames
7. Satan's Power
8. Inferno's Rage

Review by Michael on May 5, 2024.

From the ashes of glorious Swedish black-thrash legends Nifelheim Hellbutcher arises. Right from the first notes, we can hear that the Swedes around Per "Hellbutcher" Gustavsson spread total mayhem with their debut. After the split of Nifelheim he "realized (he) needed to create (his) own spirit of metal", so, together with guitarist Necrophiliac (Mordant), Iron Beast bassist Eld, and Martin "Devastator" Axenrot (Bloodbath, Opeth) he founded the band. What came out is some ferocious drumming, ultra-fast guitar riffs, and Hellbutcher's grim shrieking vocals that deliver a sheer Blitzkrieg inferno. What is to be found on Hellbutcher is old-school stuff that makes you feel like you are back in 1995 when Nifelheim put out their debut. It must be in the DNA of the guys (apart from Iron Maiden) to bring back the 80s when German thrash was the hot shit and of course praise the godfathers of black metal.

I mean, just check 'Perdition' and you will instantly know which band was the blueprint for that one. Just that one opening riff and the machine-gun-like vocals - "Pleasure To Kill"!!! And this is also the biggest difference to Hellbutchers predecessor. With the new band there are much more thrash elements to be found and the songs have a little bit more structure. Also, the guitar solos almost explode with the melodies (okay, that's an exaggeration) but a song like 'Hordes Of The Horned God' is super catchy and surprises with many great hook lines. But apart from the black-thrash influences, there are some more rock n' roll elements like in 'Death's Rider'. Here they ride more mid-tempo paced through the blood-soaked streets of Sweden to chop off some heads. Again the vocals are super grim but the base tone is very much dirty rock n' rollish. The whole song trickles off a slight asocial atmosphere, from the vomiting vocals at the beginning up to the sleazy chorus. Oh, and the guitar solo in this one is so goddamn casual. This song is the right thing to drink a few beers to and listen to it loud in your garden while there is a children's birthday party at your neighbor's. 'Possessed By Flames' shows another facet. Again, very groovy and with a little bit more worship of NWoBHM legends. The guitar work is very much Maiden-inspired (what you can only notice of course if you fade out the hellish vocals which are paired here with some sonorous spoken words). But this isn't a surprise either if you know that Hellbutcher is probably one of the biggest Iron Maiden fans in the world. And for the last one, I don't know how to give a song a more appropriate title than 'Inferno's Rage'. This matches so perfectly because the last track on Hellbutcher is this literally. This song comes closest to old Nifelheim, it is just fury and destruction. If black metal needs an iconic anthem, this is a proper candidate. This could go for the whole album, which will be a classic in a few years for sure when it comes to the black-thrash genre.

Hellbutcher himself said that he doesn't like wimpy stuff and that his music must reek of evil and so must the lyrics. They "are METAL, striving to refine and evolve (their) music and image to become and heaviest among all extreme metal bands throughout history. Disregarding predefined trends and fashions, (they) will persist in the authentic path that metal was meant to follow!". He told me lately that he is already working on some new stuff for Hellbutcher and that Nifelheim was always a little bit slow when writing an album. Let's hope that they won't make us wait for too long for the follow-up. But now is the time to enjoy the debut. As I said, you just need some beer and a garden party next door! My guess is, your neighbors will be as floored as I was while listening to it. Horns up!!

Rating: 10 out of 10