Hellsworn - Repulsive Existence EP.
Review by Trevor Proctor.
Based in the U.K.'s Midlands Death Metal band Hellsworn has been in existence since 2010. With a line up consisting of members / ex members of bands such as She’ol (שְׁאוֹל), Scythian, Qrixkuor and Funeral Throne there’s no doubting Hellsworn’s pedigree and experience within the U.K. underground.
Hellsworn’s only release to date is the Repulsive Existence EP which was first released independently on digital formats in 2012. Repulsive Existence was then snapped up for an official release by the excellent U.K. underground label Eldritch Lunar Miasma Records who released it on cassette and CD in July 2014, with only 100 copies available of each format. The CD version wasn’t long before it sold out and the cassette is almost gone as well. However all is not lost as Dublin based label, Underground Movement is set to re-release the EP this July, resurrecting this quality EP and in the process giving the band some further and well deserved attention and publicity. The original release featured six tracks, all of which will feature on this version, along with a bonus track in the form of a yet unnamed Bathory cover.
As you could probably guess Hellsworn plays raw and filthy Death Metal with heavy influences from that very distinctive style which emerged from Sweden in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, made famous by the likes of Dismember, Nihilist and Nirvana 2000. The original Repulsive Existence release featured six tracks across twenty minutes, all of which last around 3-4 minutes and there’s not one second of filler. If this music doesn’t catch the attention and get the head banging there’s not much hope for you as this is one of the best examples of old school Death Metal you’re likely to hear - add in that previously mentioned Bathory cover and you’ve an even more essential piece of listening on your hands!
There’s not much description or analysis required – if you worship at the altar of HM-2 / old school Swedish Death Metal you’ve came to the right place. Death Metal is currently enjoying a massive resurgence worldwide and there are so many bands trying to create music in this style who end up failing miserably and merely sound like dated and fake rip-off clones. Thankfully this is far from the case with Hellsworn – their music sounds like it should and is played with genuine passion and authenticity with the result being an extremely catchy and credible slab of old school Death Metal, which they seem to have written with the greatest of ease. For a debut release this is exceptional and the only hope we should have is that this re-release will spur the band towards creating more of this music. What’s also encouraging news is that Hellsworn have started playing live dates again, following what they described on their Facebook page as a “lengthy hibernation.” With the EP re-release and new live shows….surely this must, in time, mean new music? We can only hope, but in the meantime get your ears round this exceptional piece of music that sounds like it came straight out of Sweden in the early 1990’s. Just listen to the track, ‘Voices from Beyond the Grave’ below and you’ll see exactly what I mean….
The influence this group of individuals has and will continue to have on U.K. underground music is not to be underestimated. One member of Hellsworn has become an integral part of Sheol, another is a member of Qrixkuor who recently delivered a definite contender for EP of the year and Funeral Throne continues to go from strength to strength. Here we have an extremely talented and influential group of individuals writing and performing one of the most distinctive and important styles of Death Metal – what’s not to love? If you’re a fan of Swedish Death Metal this release is right up your street.
Authentic old school Death Metal. 9/10.
01 - Repulsive Existence
02 - Voices from Beyond the Grave
03 – Lifeless
04 - Sons of Serpents
05 - Serial Misanthropy
06 - In Eternal Darkness
07 – Bathory cover.
Very limited copies of Repulsive Existence on cassette are still available from Hellsworn's Bandcamp page. This CD version is due to be available via Underground Movement mid-July.