Hellsaw
Cold


4.0
excellent

Review

by Frederick Metzengerstein USER (202 Reviews)
April 10th, 2009 | 52 replies | 8,450 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Quorthon, Ice Dale, Varg Vikerness, and Jeff Becerra of Possessed fame huddling around a camp fire in an ancient Norwegian forest telling ghost stories and drinking hot chocolate.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

My latest find from Napalm Records has turned out to be a catch among catches. Great black metal is rare to find these days but when you find something special like Hellsaw’s latest record Cold it makes you feel a little happier inside. I actually just discovered the band not too long ago thanks to the help of Decibel spotting these guys out to me. Hailing from Austria, Hellsaw have released three full length records and a split E.P since forming in 2001. I have yet to acquire their first two records but after the modern and unique accomplishment that is Cold, I feel that not checking out their back catalog would be doing them a great injustice. Hellsaw’s style of black metal focuses on crystal clean production, cutting edge riffs and icy melodies, with a dark and mechanical atmosphere enveloping the albums thirteen tracks.

At first glance, Bathory was the major influence that I picked up after listening to Hellsaw. But a couple listens later I picked up elements of Enslaved, Satyricon, Possessed, Burzum, and even Wolves In The Throne Room. From the triumphant and Norse sounding vibe of Der Harzwald complete with thorough acoustic guitars and epic humming in the vein of Quorthon’s mid day Viking efforts to the black n roll of The Black Death, the mystical ambience of Psycho Pastor, and the Burzumic approach of Sulphur Prayer, Hellsaw excel at creating intricate black metal with a strong focus to powerful songwriting.

The lead and rhythm guitar foundation of Malthus and Isiul is incredibly varied and precise. Think Below The Lights era Enslaved if they wrote catchier and more up front patterns. On Cold you have the standard tremolo picking technique making a nice mess of things before erupting into head bobbing grooves that will have the Norse gods banging heads and crushing bodies in no time. Tempos range from mild to hot with the nice breakdown punch of Ache setting up as one of the many standouts on Cold. Vocally, Aries transitions from a deathly rasp to a torturous howl akin to Varg Vikerness. His rasps are thick and vicious, reminiscing more from early death metal than black metal. His howl though, purely channels the spirit of Varg’s misanthropic youth. Lyrically, this album strays away from much of the satanic hoopla that the three and a half million Darkthrone clones tend to adopt. The tightly executed bass and drum rhythmic patterns solidify Hellsaw as a competent and powerful entity to the extreme metal world. Deserdoth’s bass playing cuts through the riffs with a thick, buzzing tone that remains ever so present and catchy thanks to tight production values and excellent musicianship. The drummer Svart cuts through the frosty atmosphere with a punishing assault of double bass and blast beating yet his playing never feels too mechanized or overly produced. The snare drum in particular remains a force to be reckoned with conveying a bowel crushing movement

As I said before the production really adds layer of intrigue to Hellsaw’s playing. Far from seeping away and semblance to aggression, Cold manages to be dark and vicious as hell while being accessible enough to attract those who cannot comprehend traditional black metal values. The strength of this band lies in the ability to create something unique in rather straightforward guitar driven format and for that, Hellsaw gathers major respect points from me. Cold is easily one of my favorite records of the year surpassing the likes of Wolves In the Throne Room, Vreid, Cobalt, Peste Noire, and Samael in the black metal field. I highly recommend any extreme metal fan to give this a spin and hope that you might enjoy this as much as I do.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
April 10th 2009



14504 Comments


Hailing from Austria, Hellwitch have already released


BallsToTheWall
April 10th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Speed.

Zoo
April 10th 2009



3759 Comments


Haha, that's weird. I just bought this album on Amazon last night.

gaslightanthem
April 10th 2009



5209 Comments


weird

fireaboveicebelow
April 10th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great rec, thanks ballsman

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2009



15778 Comments


Excellent review. I'll be listening to this on the way to work. God help you if it sucks.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 10th 2009



4830 Comments


very unoriginal name, -10 pts.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

myhigherpie
April 10th 2009



3027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this seems right up my alley. thanks for the rec ballsy.

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2009



15778 Comments


Just got to work. This is pretty good probably a 3.5 but I'll need a few more listens.

jrowa001
April 10th 2009



8749 Comments


sounds cool. will check out

myhigherpie
April 10th 2009



3027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

strange. the only versions of this album I can find are missing two tracks. are eyes of ice and wounds just instrumentals?

BallsToTheWall
April 10th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Close to raising this up to a 4.5, such a cool fuckin album. Awesome to hear Zoo and don't worry Willie it doesnt suck. @Pie, eyah, those are instrumentals.This Message Edited On 04.10.09

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2009



15778 Comments


I'm not worried anymore. You must have missed my second post.

BallsToTheWall
April 10th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yah, I took a nap outside of publix forgetting the time, and rushed through the comment section just now.

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2009



15778 Comments


You fell asleep outside Publix?

Did you know that The Birthday Massacre will be playing live in Orlando on May 1st (You're in Florida; right?). Did you also know they've got a live album out on May 5th?

BallsToTheWall
April 10th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, no and yes. May 1st, I actually might be driving south that day. Shit. Check this clip out. My buddy sent me it and it is dynomite.


http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/ae21414a63/death-metal-puppy-from-that-happened
This Message Edited On 04.10.09

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2009



15778 Comments


I've seen that. It is funny.

Hawks
April 10th 2009



33363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't know how I missed this review. Really good review and it seems like a great album.

jingledeath
April 11th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

should have this by tomorrow

Hawks
April 11th 2009



33363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to one of the songs on youtube, I forget which one, but it was pretty awesome.



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