Hobbs’ Angel Of Death‘s Heaven Bled Is Heaven Sent
Today we’ve got a guest review from ridgy-didge Aussie battler Ted Nü-Djent! The Toilet’s original cobba is covering the first album in 21 years from Melbourne thrash demon Peter Hobbs.
2016 has been another strong year for Australian metal releases from a wide variety of sub-genres, with ripping albums from Temple Nightside (cavernous death), Hellbringer (Slayer worshipping thrash), Mesarthim (spaaaaace metal), Ill Omen (black metal), Coffin Lust (HM-2 core), Denouncement Pyre (death/black), Ruins (black metal), Inverloch (doom), Sewercide (interview), and 486 other bands. How does the third album from Hobbs’ Angel Of Death hold up amongst the new generation of Aussie metal? As I was still shitting my pants (more than once a week) back when Hobbs’ first album was released (1988), I’ll hand over to Ted to give us a fair dinkum analysis from someone who can actually remember the 80’s.
Thanks to Deströyer 666, 2016 has been a pretty rough year for old codgers in Australian metal. Now after a 20+ year wait Hobbs’ Angel Of Death have released an unrelenting slab of “deathened thrash” to right the wrongs of the aforementioned band.
Straight away, HAOD waste no time taking a cricket bat to my balls with the blistering intro riff to “Il Monstro di Firenze” (which google translate tells me is Italian for “The Monster Of Florence”), and letting everyone know that although Mr Hobbs may be a lot older now, he can still mix it with the best of them. The assault continues into “Walk My Path”, which is just as hectic, with lead guitarist Simon Wiezen throwing in some tasty melodeath-style solos for good measure.
I won’t bore you with a track-by-track breakdown so I’ll get to the heart of Heaven Bled. Although this album is foot-to-the-floor from start to finish, it is by no means a one dimensional thrash album. Each track cranks along in demonic fury, and the album has many different landscapes. The band are firing on all cylinders here, and the songwriting on display is as impressive as it is catchy. A testament to that is that although the album is just a peep under an hour long, by the time you reach the end of the closing track “Abomination”, you do not feel at all like you have just spent an hour listening them (also the closing solo on “Abomination” is magnificent). Lyrically the album covers a whole range of subjects but is mainly steeped in fantasy, which will please the virgins, but also avoids any of the pitfalls of being too controversial (although if this album were released in the 80’s, I’m sure Tipper Gore and the PMRC would have taken umbrage at the song “Suicide”).
In a year of impressive releases from thrashers such as Ripper, Hellbringer, Deathstorm etc, Heaven Bled is a triumph that stands head and shoulders for mine above their contemporaries. It puts a smile on my face seeing these old codgers not only releasing such a strong album, but quite possibly their best yet. I can only hope that Heaven Bled is the start of more goodness to come.
Heaven Bled receives 4/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell