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NSFW: Goats in Compromising Positions - 86%

TheStormIRide, July 23rd, 2018

From Granite Factory Records, the UK based label responsible for unleashing a handful of cool Hellripper releases upon the world has recently dropped a filthy four track split of raucous and ripping street metal from two of the most notorious bands in the business: Hellripper (of course) and Barbatos. Though the entirety of the four tracks clock in thirty seconds shy of the ten minute mark, both bands pack enough snarling, salubrious venom into the tracks that it’ll still knock you on your ass.

Over the last two decades, Yasuyuki Suzuki’s side project, Barbatos, has probably become every bit as notorious as his main project, Abigail. While Barbatos does share a lot in common with the blackened thrashing of Abigail, it’s drops the evilness in favor of sexy sleaziness and drunken partying. The band’s 2015 full length, Straight Metal War, was a bit of a letdown, even if the rollicking, punkened speed metal flair was a lot of fun. Barbatos continues to distance themselves from their beginnings, as both tracks have lost anything resembling black metal, but that’s just fine. The pummeling, almost d-beat fueled percussion and rumbling, Lemmy-inspired basslines provide a perfect backdrop for Yasuyuki’s slurred vocals and some fun, speeding rock ‘n’ roll leads and punk-tinged riffing.

Hellripper has been steadily winning over blackened hearts with a decidedly old school approach of speeding, thrashing, black metal. The solo project of Jame McBain, the creative force behind the OSDM-drenched Lord Rot and the blackened postpunk project Lock Howl among others, Hellripper has been releasing a nonstop barrage of splits since forming in 2014. Coagulating Darkness, the 2017 full length released on the sadly closed Barbarian Wrath, turned a lot of heads with its sinister combination of black/speed/thrash. The two tracks on this split continue the furious pacing and venomous snarls, though the tracks are short even by Hellripper’s standards, with the longest barely over two minutes in length. Despite the short length, Hellripper jams crusty, thrashy percussion with some razor sharp riffing and high speed lead licks, though the forceful, snarled vocals take center stage.

This split might be extremely short, but it’s a nonstop hellride of raucous riffing and speeding heavy metal that any fan of filthy, punk-tinged speed metal should put on repeat. The Barbatos tracks are fun, in their own sleazy, drunken way, but Hellripper takes the prize here, with two tracks perfect for a midnight cruise through the back alleys. Honestly, though, a split like this is a no brainer for any fan of the style, as these are two of the best and most notorious acts around.

Written for The Metal Observer.