AN NCS PREMIERE (AND A REVIEW): HELLS — “PARADISE”
Tomorrow — May 13 — Seeing Red Records will release Paradise, the debut EP of a Philadelphia band appropriately named HELLS, and today we bring you a full stream of its six head-wrecking tracks.
When you listen to the music, it will quickly become clear that Paradise is an ironic title. At a minimum, it’s a term that must be understood in context, maybe one reflecting a worldview in which being beaten senseless or asphyxiated brings a glorious release from a daily rain of shit.
In this Paradise, there’s an overarching atmosphere of tension, violence, and bleakness. The music hits hard, like a Louisville slugger (or a girder) landing solid blows about the head and neck. But the songs are also so damned physically compulsive that they spawn upper-body convulsions. It’s not easy-listening music, but it will get you moving, in tune with its brute-force rhythms.
HELLS employ their brawny riffs like weapons, with a preference for pulsating chords that sometimes sound like warning sirens, and skull-cleaving chugs. “Tribute” also brings in a winding, twisting riff and a trilling, swarming guitar lead that sound viper-like and poisonous. The closing track, “Night Creeps”, is a phalanx of relentlessly hammering atonal chords mixed with a blend of catchy verse riffs. “Night Creeps” is also the only time on the album when the vocals turn clean, almost like Ozzie-gone-punk. The rest of the time, they’re a raw, high-pitched, murderous hardcore yell — the sound of someone who’s about two seconds away from coming for your throat.
The drumming on the EP is consistently powerful, with a snare tone that cracks like gunshots and rhythms that shiver the spine, and the bass lines crunch like a steamroller on a bed of skulls.
Paradise includes ominous, mid-paced bruisers (such as the title track and “Bad Apple” — which is as grim as a metastizing cancer) as well as up-tempo punk brawlers (“1-800-Sshitfit”) and chaotic blasts of destruction (“Weather Report”). The dynamics of the music keep the songs from running together; it’s easy to stay hooked to this demolition machine from start to finish.
In a nutshell, this is the kind of cross-over metallic hardcore that’s heavy, hopeless, and hard to get away from. Hope you dig it as much as I have.
Drums: Steve DiCicco
Bass: Scott Signorino
Guitar: Brad Wallace
Vox: Larry Ragone
Paradise was recorded by Brad Wallace and mastered by Brad Boatright. Pre-order it here:
I’m pretty sure Brad Boatright masters about 2/5 of all extreme music releases coming out at this point.
Holy shit. The same Brad Wallace from Orchid and Bucker Full of Teeth!?
Yep thats the same guy.
Also this sounds super awesome. Very into it.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention!!