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Album Review: Hellripper – The Affair Of The Poisons

Scottish blackened thrashers Hellripper rip it up on the killer The Affair Of The Poisons

At more than one point on The Affair Of The Poisons, Hellripper sound like Kill Em All being played at 78RPM. If you don’t know what that means, you’re not old-school enough for this second album from Scottish metal maniac James McBain. Fast, furious and filthy, it’s a speedy, Satanic delight that exhumes the corpse of early-‘80s thrash and black metal, channelling the spirit of early Bathory, Venom and Slayer from a time when they themselves were channelling the spirit of Motörhead, and revelling in just how much of a laugh it can be to go over the speed limit for the Devil. 

If this sounds like a simple remit, well yes, but also no. It means fuck-all if you haven’t got the riffs or the energy or the aaaarrrgh-ness going for you, and this is where Hellripper come into their own. And then you get to the choruses of Spectres Of The Blood Moon Sabbath or Vampire’s Grave (just say that title out loud: Vampire’s Grave), perfect, pint-spilling, fists-aloft things with shout-along vocals that make you want to dive through the wall in the absence of being able to see it live. And you just won’t be able to not air-guitar to the solos and snappy breaks, nor the killer Maiden harmony bit during Blood Orgy Of The She-Devils (again, just say that name aloud). 

Like their be-hooded U.S. counterparts Midnight, Hellripper are a brilliantly over-excited celebration of metallic evil that sounds easy until you’re asked to get it right yourself. More importantly, The Affair Of The Poisons is an album entirely devoted to its wicked cause, and in doing so is infectious and energising. You will bang your head, you will slop beer everywhere, you will thrash like a maniac – Hellripper fucking rule.

Verdict: 4/5

For Fans Of: Midnight, Metallica, Darkthrone 

The Affair Of The Poisons is released on October 9 via Peaceville.

READ THIS: The 25 greatest thrash albums ever

Posted on October 6th 2020, 10:32a.m.
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