The allure of some metal releases begins and intensifies even before you hear a single note. Sometimes that allure is even more intense when you don’t have a previous musical repertoire from the band that would more concretely tell you what to expect, which is the case with Hell Strike‘s debut EP Hellstrike.
In the case of this writer, the allure and the intrigue were first kindled by the pedigree of Hell Strike‘s line-up, which features members of Ascended Dead, Ritual Necromancy, and Bloodsoaked. And then it intensified upon seeing the EP’s cover art by Misanthropic Art (which turns out to be an effective visual rendering of the diabolical atmosphere of the sounds). And then the allure became greater still upon seeing comparative references in the press materials to the likes of Sadistic Intent, Grotesque (Sweden), The Chasm, Necrophobic, Mortem (Peru), and Order From Chaos.
Sometimes after becoming intensely enticed in such ways, we’re left downcast and disappointed after listening to the music. But as you’ve no doubt already guessed from our hosting of the EP’s full streaming premiere a couple days before its release, all the excited expectations were not merely fulfilled, but exceeded.