The name, Hellcrawler, immediately piqued my interest, while the combination of album title and grim cover art guaranteed that I’d have to give Wastelands a spin or 10. While maybe not as perpetually disappointing as finding out the girl with the sexy voice on the phone looks nothing like she sounds, making the leap from cool band names and covert art to righteous music is not a game you win very often. But by golly, the music of Wastelands rang the goddamned bell as well. Hey asshole, you picked right! Right?

So here’s the deal. Hellcrawler plays crusty, grooving death metal with d-beat spatter and does it awfully damn well across the entirety of Wastelands. Aside from a production that’s a little on the flat side, the riffage is rude and the relationships developed nice ‘n abusive. Take the unexpected burst of twin-leads hovering over motoring bass during “Towards the End” for example.

Yes sir, quite a few above-average tunes on this one too, including the fully tilted, d-battered rockin’ of “The Molten Faces Tribe.” Then there is “Motosluts from Hell.” I mean, come on, Hellcrawler has already shown a propensity to pair attractively ugly titles with appealingly gnarly tunes, so why would that one be any exception? Combined with a vocal attack that falls somewhere between L.G. Petrov (Entombed) and Ben Falgoust (Goatwhore), moments that remind of the dry tone of end-times death heard from Book of Black Earth, and some honest to badness ballsy rockin’ filth, the Slovenian rabble ends up with an album that many more people should be hearing, but probably never will. Show ‘em some love or give ‘em some hate.

Just show ‘em something!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
February 7th, 2012


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