HELLBASTARD (The Need To Kill) CD
I already commented on HELLBASTARD's history in the review about the 'Eco War' MCD, so I am not going to waste time, but start with my impressions of 'The Need To Kill directly. As 'Eco War', 'The Need To Kill' gives me mixed feelings and in a few moments I think I find it pretty annoying. The main reason for this is the unbearable cold and sterile production, in particular the triggered bass drum is awful and sounds like a drum computer and then additionaly badly mixed until all other instruments are almost drowned. On a loosely related note, I cannot help but wonder why they didn't use the more organic sound as on 'Eco War'. Apart from that, 'The Need To Kill' is based on thrash metal, filled with quotes from Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, or VoiVod. Sometimes, the songs are open to further influences ranging from hardrock to alternative rock.
It seems to me as if HELLBASTARD have desperately tried to capture a modern-sounding metal album, but somehow they lost their musical identity in trying to achieve that goal. 'Anthropological Angst I' with its silly gang-chorus could've been an unreleased cut from a Suicidal Tendencies demo and even the re-recorded songs from the first album are disappointingly weak. The only thing that impresses me is the overall technical execution. There is no doubt that HELLBASTARD's performance is on a high technical level, but what is the point if most of the songs are rather average and especially, this damn production ruins everything. Truly it would've been an enormous advantage if the sixteen songs had the same production as the ones on 'Eco War'. I am also led to believe that the band is a little bit disoriented with regard to the musical direction. At least, so it seems. I guess it's about time to dig out my old 'Ripper Crust' demo, because otherwise I will forget that HELLBASTARD was once a very promising band.