A Metal State of Mind
A band that are unfortunately not known to many, I was introduced to Hellcrawler via the wonderful Death Metal Baboon site, for which I also write. The Slovenians’ blend of crusty death-n-roll won’t be for everyone, but it works fantastically for the topic they chose for their début album; which other genre can do post-apocalyptical wastelands in the vein of Mad Max such justice? The reason I mention that movie is that the album is bookmarked by sound clips from the sequel. The production is crusty and dark, befitting both the songs and the topics, which range a fair bit but stay within the range.
Although not a strict plot per se, Wastelands deals with topics within the wasteland, starting with how this environment was formed, how the “Motosluts From Hell” are holed up in the “Rattlesnake Tavern” before then moving on to a plan to fight back against biomechanical forces which are laying siege to them. They plan to attack a power plant, which results in a betrayal and makes the revolt fail, the main character escaping alone to ride into the sunset. There’s some hidden political commentary in the way they describe the creation of the wasteland, caused by man’s corporate greed and predilection for war, reducing the world to “just scorched land remains, wastelands full of pain”. A powerful message given the state of the world we live in today.
What struck me with the first couple of spins of this album is the two sides of its coin; if you focus on the lyrics, you get a cool story worthy of a graphic novel, and if you focus on the music you get a cool punk-influenced death-n-roll album with a surprising amount of replay factor. Although I wouldn’t call this completely accessible, it’s got a lot more going for it than most death metal albums, so give this a blast and if you wish, check out my review of it over on DMB here.