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Simple, Hellish Metal From Rio - 80%

Byrgan, November 24th, 2008

Hellkommander is just another group that places their debut at an offset year. Death To My Enemies is a major homage to some early 80's metal groups. Playing in a basic speed-black-death style. Though, the band describes themselves as "raw death metal." However, I find that this release has its own simple, appealing moments.

This is about as basic and dirty sounding as a typical crust outfit. But instead playing barbaric, purposely simplistic, hellish metal. The rhythms in these songs elicit a head banging nod, and to be honest not much in the way of ingenious thought processes. You can leave the complex cognitive process in the other room, while only bringing long hair, a lasting lighter and a bowl of buttery popcorn for entertainment.

Using primarily strums, this band even mostly excludes palm mutes. Mainly just moving around the fret board with strummed out power chords, and played with a needful, raunchy mentality with some string bends and trills. They move mainly at a mid and slower tempo. His vocals come over top with a roughened gruff/growl. Probably adopting a deeper Motorhead-like bar-friendly voice. The same voice is naturally heard in small town taverns and is about as fitting as the dilapidated decor: dim lights, high stools, stubbed cigarette butts, and the familiarness of the dated, flickering juke box in the corner.

The drummer, Adrameleck, which was involved at one point or another with Sodomizer, Nocturnal Worshipper and Apocalyptic (now Apokalyptic) Raids all show that they have the same things in mind. Bands that bring back past influences and play with a slightly updated view point. He even has a start up with a cow bell on the song Nuclear Graves. His drumming shows that he didn't want to take away from the crass and simplistic atmosphere of the album. Playing busy-body fills that keep the music in-line, without an urge to cut-in and advance ahead. Maintaining a waiting turn that leads to an eventual payoff.

Hellkommander might have a name a little too close to you-know-who and a production that is only truly fitting for record players. But they find dirty-entertainment where it counts. There isn't a big variety coming from Death To My Enemies, and it might only throw out a solo. Although, this isn't going down the aggressive road of a typical, blackened speed-metal band. It uses a mid-pace and a brand of music that is why bands like AC/DC for instance are likeable, and, well, on their own can pump out so many records. It sticks to the basics and you know what you are going to get when you put it on. Except in this case the songs about dying and hell are put to you in a way that you might forget all about it. And you might go down with a perceived stupid grin on your face when you finally succumb, gratefully thanks to Hellkommander's Death To My Enemies.