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Review: Hellish Crossfire - Slaves of the Burning Pentagram
Hellish Crossfire
Slaves of the Burning Pentagram

Label: I Hate Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 38:49
Tracks: 8
Genre: Speed/Thrash

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 8, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Slaves of the Burning Pentagram

Rated 4.42/5 (88.33%) (12 Votes)

Germany's Hellish Crossfire (I assume the name is taken from Iron Angel's debut album) have been around for about 5 years and only released two demos before this first album. Throwing the "thrash" moniker at them would be too simple, as the band incorporates sounds from some of the harsher thrash bands such as Desaster (comparable vocal style - the vocalist practically barks the vocals), Dekapitator and the likes, as well as some speed metal elements (some of the speedier guitar parts remind me of Killers' first couple of albums), and there's also a hint of black metal elements in here.

The vocals are top notch, absolutely insane and devastating, the vocalist has a harsh, half-clean vocal style reminiscent of Desaster's second vocalist (Okkulto) and one can just feel the hate and spite throughout the album. The music doesn't take second place to the great vocal work, however, with the thrashier moments being raw and old school to the bone - think Dekapitator, Possessed, Venom and the likes. There are also some "cleaner", faster passages that flirt more with speed metal - as I mentioned previously, some of this feels like it came from France's Killers' first two album, two of the best speed metal albums I've heard. All of this is bathing is a subtle black metal-ish atmosphere.

Of the "thrash revival", this is one of the better albums that have graced my CD player. While Hellish Crossfire haven't really invented anything new overall, their mix of genres and influences comes across sounding fresh and, well, just plain devastating. Highly recommended.

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