The return of a thrash master...
It’s been a long time between drinks, but 14 October saw the release of Hobbs’ Angel of Death’s long awaited new full length album. HAOD were the Aussie pioneers of eighties thrash metal hailing from Melbourne, with two cult demos in 1987: Angel of Death and Virgin Metal Invasion from Down Under.
1988 Saw the release of the first full length album, aptly titled, Hobbs’ Angel of Death. This album has remained a thrash staple in the record collections of many a head banger since then (myself included). This was followed in 1995 by their second full length release, Inheritance.
Fast forward to 2002 and the band reformed and started touring, including Festivals in Europe and Australia. I was lucky enough to catch them live on three occasions, different line ups each time but each gig was mind blowing. Pete Hobbs is a front man who delivers, time and time again. So when I was asked by Sentinel Daily to review the comeback album Heaven Bled I more than happily obliged. A sneak preview of Heaven Bled? Hell yes!
When I first played the album, it was one of those moments. Some albums take a couple of listens to really hit home, Heaven Bled is not one of those. On first listen, I was hooked. Brilliant production making the most of thrashing, yet melodic guitars, Pete’s crushing vocals and brilliant drums.
The line-up for this album is absolutely killer and features Simon Wizen (Die Hard, Nominon, Ondskapt, Valkyrja) on lead guitar, Alessio Medici (Violentor) on bass guitar and Iago Bruchi (Tuchulcha, Violentor) on drums.
The stand out tracks for me on Heaven Bled are: Walk my Path (for the lead guitar), Suicide – for making me want to windmill after all these years and bring back those old neck injuries from the past – Heaven Bled for the killer vocals and guitars and Sadistic Domination for helping me realize that thrash metal, although it will always evolve, will remain my favourite genre. The whole album is a work of art.
Heaven Bled was recorded in Italy at Westlink Studio, Tuscany and was produced by Peter Hobbs himself who spends a lot time there and considers it his second home.
Heaven Bled is by Hell’s Headbangers in the US, High Roller Records in Europe and Rock Stakk Records in Japan, and is out now.