Hollow Earth Records
Crusty death metal seems to be all the rage now, with bands like Hot Graves and Bones displaying their chops with their recent high quality releases. Even little known regions (for metal, at least) such as Slovenia are starting to see their share of these genres, with Hellcrawler releasing their debut full length album, Wastelands.
The rock ‘n’ roll attitude of the band is immediate evident right from the start, with the band displaying their filthy brand of crust-infused death metal right after the short spoken intro on Devastation. The sludgy riffs of Aris and Andraz and the d-beats of drummer Pijoe hit the listener without mercy, and the high energy of the music easily gets the listener headbanging along with the band. There is a certain level of anger that is constantly present on Wastelands as well, and this at times bring about resemblance to Singapore’s death/grind outfit Truth Be Known‘s earlier stuff, especially with the vocal execution of Miran.
Hellcrawler also attempts to inject some uniqueness in their music through the inclusion of numerous external influences, such as the melodic death metal-influenced riffing on Rattlesnake Tavern and the harmonised lead lines on Towards the End. The lead guitars and riffs on the album also bring about a somewhat old-school rock ‘n’ roll feel, especially on tracks like Motosluts from Hell. Songs like The Molten Faces Tribe even brings about reminders of songs like Hot Graves‘ Worship the Goat, with the brutal yet catchy riffs that are present. Lead segments also often come in the form of short licks rather than full-blown guitar solos, and often plays a complementary role to the rest of the instruments rather than stand out on its own in the limelight, such as those towards the end of The Molten Faces Tribe.
The rather raw and muddy production quality of Wastelands also adds charm to the music, and helps in giving the album some sort of an authentic feel to it, allowing the unbridled energy of the band to really shine through the record, making Wastelands an extremely fun album to have some good fun to.