HellgardeN – Making Noise, Living Fast
Running Time: 34:27
Review by Victor Augusto
Many bands could seem to be totally unknown or new when they appear with a first release, but some work extremely hard before this first step to increase the expectations and anticipation of their first recorded release. Brazilian thrashers HellgardeN are a great example of this. They have been making noise and living fast for a few years, and I had the privilege of seeing them live before hearing this album, so I am one of those people who waited eagerly to hear it.
On the subject of all things that any band must plan and prepare before entering the studio, I have to mention the production of this album. It pleased me. It is raw, but good at the same time, and is refreshing, as there are plenty of albums sounding over digitalized and soulless. The distorted vocals and few guitar effects reminded me a little of Crust/Grindcore bands, just in terms of arrangements.
So, let me talk about the music. The Thrash Metal of HellgardeN has a lot of excitement in compositions and uses many good tempo variations to avoid repetition. So far, nothing new from what a good band in this genre must play. Guitarist, Caick Gabriel, does a great job with good riffs. Diego Pascuci screams a lot, and the mix makes his voice blend very well with all the other instruments. Guilherme Biondo has good bass lines which complement Caick’s guitar work and Drummer, Matheus Barreiros had the hard work to brake and change all cadences. In my opinion, his work, together with Caick are the highlights in the music and they create a good sonority with groove.
All the songs are good, but a couple stand out for me. ‘Evolution or Destruction’ shows the band’s ability to create catchy riffs. ‘Brainwash’ is my favorite due to the straight structure and more aggressive riffs. The album’s title track ‘Making Noise, Living Fast’ has a good bass sound opening it, as well as a good chorus, and lyrics that express the band’s spirit. ‘Possessed By Noise’ follows the same idea, but this last one has a fast and amazing ending to close the album.
Now, I should say what has worried me about HellgardeN’s music, and what I haven’t enjoyed since my first listening. Between many bands that have inspired them, probably Pantera is the strongest influence and it could be a problem. Of course, Pantera are a legendary group and I don’t need to explain why, even if anyone who is reading this review doesn’t like them. The problem is not being influenced by them, but when you sound exactly the same, like a copy sometimes, it could be dangerous. I will mention just two songs to enlighten what I am saying. The first one is ‘Spit on Hypocrisy’, with almost the same riff and cadence from ‘A New Level’. The second one and worst offender is ‘Fuck the Consequences’, that is totally like ‘Fucking Hostile’. Even Phil Anselmo’s counting (one, two, three, four) to open the song is identical on HellgardeN’s version.
Of course, I love to hear Pantera and everything that reminds me of them, but not when it sounds like a cover band. Probably this similarity will help them to conquer a few fans, as we all miss this important band since they quit almost 20 years ago, and a reunion is becoming (or has already become) almost impossible, after everything that’s happened during this time. But in my opinion, if HellgardeN are working on having a longer career, they must look for their own identity; this similarity will not work. Worse than that, the band could suffer by gaining the title of “Pantera Cover Band” and making this disappear, even when they create their own identity, could be hard. Considering that band’s members are working hard to be professional (different from most Brazilian underground bands, by the way) I think it is a subject to pay attention to.
However, it is not the end of the world (right, COVID 19?). The band did an amazing job for a first release and I can assure that you are going to have exciting concerts with these guys exploding with energy on stage. If you like powerful shows, just grab a beer and go to see them. The main thing here is that “Making Noise, Living Fast” shows a band hungry for blood with a great sound, great cover art, and it’s easy to listen to. Enjoy it!
01. Spit On Hypocrisy
02. Evolution Or Destruction
03. Learned To Play Dirty
04. Fuck The Consequences
06. Making Noise, Living Fast
07. Believe In Yourself Or Die
08. Possessed By Noise
Diego Pascuci – Vocals
Caick Gabriel Cavallari – Guitars
Matheus Barreiros – Drums
Guilherme Biondo – Bass
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