I’d heard a few things, mostly ambiguous, about this album through sources within the metal underground, and I’m here to stand on my Pope box and put my full support behind Blood Money. My god, man . . . this is the most exciting album I’ve heard in quite some time! You old school metallers will remember the late ‘80’s when we were hearing the fresh sounds of thrash that Metallica had helped spawn. We had those speedy passages that would suddenly drop in the middle of the tune and leave nothing but a bitchin’ mid tempo groove, inciting a violent circle of full body contact by a thousand mosh happy hessians. Bands like Exodus, Anthrax, Kreator, Nuclear Assault . . . they all had us flexing our metal muscles no matter how scrawny we were. Twenty years later, we have Guillotine, and if you long for the days when metal made you want to get out of your comfy chair and thrash, then Blood Money is the album that you need to go out and get.
“Insane Oppression” opens the album with a blistering speed fest of the most massive portions. Very up tempo and urgent, the band only adds stops to add an element of tension to otherwise speed freak of a tune. The vocals sound hauntingly like those of Mille from Kreator, and there is a definite “German thrash” vibe to the tune, particularly as they band breaks at the mosh part. And, like good thrash, the guitar work through the solo is technically sound and, dare I say, thrilling. Not a million notes of nonsense as we’ve heard from recent metal outings, but a well thought out and emotionally laden solo.
For you Waveriders who like your metal blackened, atmospheric, folky, and pagan, then Hellveto is definitely an underappreciated entity in the metal underground and one that you need to pay close attention to. Neoheresy is simply brimming with earthy characteristics that assail the senses where you can almost smell the mud and the minerals in the dirt. You can feel the chill of the winter air on your flesh. You can feel the desperation of the peasant folk working the fields under overcast skies. Quite possibly, you’ll see shadows moving through the fog enshrouded forests of Eastern Europe. Creepy. It’s dark and moody music that sounds more fitting for the birth scenes of the Uruk-hai from the Lord of the Rings series than any orchestral score Howard Shore composed for the films. Take away his Oscars and hand them over to Hellveto.
Hellveto incorporate a wide array of instruments to convey the moods throughout this album. “Milczace Sumienie” features a good amount of acoustic guitar mixed with, what is that . . . a harpsichord? . . . to create this incredibly haunting atmosphere before bursting back into the traditionally distorted guitar attack that is prevalent in black metal. I love the way these guys mix it up and add so many different elements of musicality to create these sprawling epics. No . . . I can’t understand a word that they’re saying, and honestly, I don’t care about that. The vocals work well within the confines of the music and add their own element of intrigue. I can accept them for what they are.
Two out of three metal bands comes from Sweden. I don’t know if that’s an actual scientific fact, but it sure seems that way anytime I get a promotional package that has metal innards. Closer are metal and are from Sweden, and what we have from these lads is metal in the vein of Arch Enemy or Soilwork. Gritty and heavy riffage, mid tempo drumming, vocals that could peel the stucco from the side of my house . . . you know, metal! What I found most intriguing about these guys was the guitar work. The solo’s are little shred-fests that will make you wonder what happened to the guys we used to consider gods. Stand out tracks are the opener “Chaos Internal” and the melody infused “What Am I?” In particular, check the solo from “What Am I?” It’s just got class written all over it. I’ll be very curious to see what the future holds for these guys. Good things, I’m sure. - Pope JTE