Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Hang The Bastard - ‘Sex in the Seventh Circle’ (Album Review)


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/9/2014
Label: Siege of Amida/Century Media Records

‘Sex in the Seventh Circle’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Keeping Vigil
02. Morrs Tempest
03. Hornfel
04. The Lesser Key
05. The Majestic Gathering Of Goetia
06. Mist Of Albion
07. Sex In The Seventh Circle
08. Snake Symbol
09. Absorption
10. Beyond The Pale
11. Sweet Mother

Hang the Bastard is

Joe Nally | (Bass/Vocals)
Sam Rice | (Guitar)
Simon Grubb | (Drums)
Tom Hubbard | (Vocals)

Review:

I’m not really sure if Hang the Bastard are human. 

I’m almost certain that a touring band went over to Greece, camped out by a cave, had a few drinks… and somehow disturbed a nest of harpies.  After gorging on the hapless troupe of players, instead of returning to their cave, the harpies decided to tour the world and show us all just how hardcore mythological creatures can sound.  If the riffs of harpies interest you, then Hang the Bastard have that market nailed.  And yes, it is a good sound. 

This album – ‘Sex in the Seventh Circle’ – is their second full-length, and moves on from 2009’s ‘Hellfire Reign’ with a sound that is somehow more aggressive and focused than their growling debut.  If you enjoyed their ‘Sweet Mother’ 7inch release in 2013, expect an album that builds on that raw and vital sound, and prepare for an absolute blizzard of riffs to howl down upon you.  I suggest whiskey, a warm coat and some mittens for the journey. 

Let’s talk about vocals, and for this I’m going to address Hang the Bastard’s frontman directly:

Dear Mr. Tomas Hubbard,
Your voice.  Firstly may I say kudos on it: you sound like Al Jourgensen and Travis Ryan were harmonising, with Angela Gossow adding in a few extra notes here and there when needed.  I just want to know where you got this wonderful skill, and also have you cracked any glasses with this banshee power? 

Seriously, Tomas Hubbard’s voice is this manic harpy howl that really acts as the meathook, grabbing you bodily and dragging you deeper into Hang the Bastard’s musical slaughterhouse.  As soon as you hear that scream erupt from album opener ‘Keeping Vigil’, and Sam Rice and Joe Nally’s guitar and bass punishment ensues, you’re already hooked in.  Welcome to the slaughterhouse, kid: here’s where the fun begins. 

Over the 11 tracks that make up ‘Sex in the Seventh Circle’, you get shook, shaken, beaten and blown up.  Imagine a Grindhouse B-movie full of gore, explosions, grime and dark magicks.  This is its soundtrack.  ‘The Majestic Gathering of Goetia’ pounds at you like a tenderiser on raw steak, the drums of Simon Grubb a constant pummelling presence.  This is then followed up by the spacey, pseudo-Hawkwind ‘Mists of Albion’, a swirling fog of acoustics and rather tender vocalisations which give way to brawling distorted guitar and haunting, subtle solos.  Out of the violent riffery, this track was the one which impressed me the most. 

From open to close, ‘Sex in the Seventh Circle’ is massive.  These four London harpies have made something the stoner rock world can treasure, and I’m sure this is only a glimpse of what these guys are truly capable of.  Get Hang the Bastard in your collection right now! 

Words by: Chris Markwell

You can pick up a copy now

For more information:

No comments: