From time to time we see a new band emerging from the dark, ancient corridors of the past, through the cobwebs and mildew, carrying a torch enkindled by the flames of bygone times. Disregarding the evolution of trends and habits over time, these bands go all the way back to the origins for inspiration. Interested more in the roots of the black metal tree than young branches, Hellehond, a new band from the Netherlands, are here to pay their tribute to the spirit of old school.
Considering the line up of the band, this is perhaps not surprising. Hellehond might be a new entity in the realm of metal, however, the members are not. Hellehond consist of old timers in the Dutch metal scene, coming from different bands with different sounds – including Bob Bagchus, one of the founding members of Dutch death/doom forefathers, Asphyx. Together with the rest of the line-up from other Dutch underground metal acts like Botulistum, they combined their forces to complete their journey to the heart of black metal.
Where their journey took them is the 80s and first steps of old school black metal, before trends and movements of nowadays. Verslonden is their debut offering and it is filled with the thrashy and punky attitude of early Bathory, the doomy mid-tempo approach of Hellhammer / Celtic Frost, the ritualistic tempo of early Samael, and crusty touches of Amebix / Discharge. This is the type of black metal people who got into this type of music with 80s heavy and early extreme metal would write and play. Their sound is very primitive and stripped down while managing to be clear enough that every instrument is distinguishable (on that note, moments bass guitar takes a front step are my personal favourites) and the rawness and the fuzzy “mid-fi” production and tone of the album feel only natural rather than forced.
For those who like how bands like Megiddo completely disregard the modern trends and worship the old, Hellehond’s debut album Verslonden will not be disappointing. Their 30 minutes of old school black metal attack will be released to the world by Iron Bonehead Productions on the 6th of December, 2019. But you can hear the full album – an exclusive Ride Into Glory premiere – below right now!