Hang the bastard: 2009 â 2011 (Holy Roar)
This is everything that Hang The Bastard have released so far. Itâs both a retrospective of the bands achievements so far and a building block for the new beginning coming after the departure of their long standing vocalist. This is an end of an era record, and itâs one hell of a collection.
It starts off with their 2010 album âHellfire Reignâ which is dark, grinding metal. The songs go from full on metal thrash with a punk edge with âThe Blackest Eyesâ and Levitation Lessonsâ to slow, sludgy and grinding on âEarthmoverâ and âFarewell Leicester Squareâ. The sound is as hard as nails, open and clear. As an album itâs a must have for the discerning metalhead today and I imagine most of them will own it already. So letâs look at what else you get.
The two demos, that crop up again on the bandâs first EP are raw and rough, they are more Grindcore than straight ahead metal. On âDoomed Fuckin Doomedâ the guitar reflects Iommiâs riffing.
The bandâs first EP, âRaw Sorceryâ, is a huge step on from the demo, the sound is more rounded and the use of samples from what sounds like horror films fits the music perfectly. The riffs are huge and the double bass drum kick makes this music pound at you. Itâs a great piece of metal, the music has moved away from the grindcore of the demo and become more polished thrash, the music standing proud alongside the likes of Slayer.
The next few tracks are from split singles with Abolition and Brutality Will Prevail, and a track from a compilation. They go from brooding and erupting into thrash on âMost Will Swim On A Lake Of Fireâ to the dark, heavy and grinding âCavernâ. The compilation track is a full on thrash metal beast, rounded, full and complete, the perfect song to introduce Hang the Bastard to the wider world at the time. The two tracks from the split single with Brutality Will Prevail are more considered, heavier and slower with great use of samples, King of Adders Black has some great âHail Satan!â samples.
The next songs were released after the album, so came out in 2011 on a split single with Brotherhood of the Lake, and they are again a step forward. âOfferingâ is louder, better and harder than before and âCrossjointâ has an eerie feel to its intro that is understated but very creepy that builds and builds to a total Metal jam with the vocals a roar over the top.
The last five songs were released on the Hang The Bastard EP in 2012. They are all as heavy and hard as you would expect. They have a darkness to them, a sense of fear and loathing, another step on from the album. The sound has a looseness to it where you can lose yourself. The drums are still brutal and the guitar sounds as loud and rich as before. The vocals sound angry and focused. But the music breathes in and out, it is like a gigantic life form in itself grabbing you and dragging you into the noise.
Hang the Bastard play the sort of music you would expect a band called Hang the Bastard to make. They make throat shredding, drum breaking, guitar riffing music. They are treading the line between Grindcore, more traditional Metal and Thrash Metal. They make an enormous sound. This album shows how much they have grown since they began and it stands as both an ending and a new beginning. It is essential listening for the metalhead in your life. Seriously, listening to them grow and shift here, I want to see where they go next.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More articles Adrian has written for Louder Than War can be found here.