Genre: Black/Speed Metal
Label: Peaceville Records
James Mcbain is one hell of a guy, true underground hero. Since 2014 where he established Hellripper he has taken everything under his control and released a plethora of EP, split and full length, showing this way that he lives and breathes only for music. “Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags” is his 3rd full length strike and surely his deadliest. It is the record that can change their status and introduce them to a larger audience. This time James focused more on the songwriting. Two previous Hellripper’s records, although great for the sub- genre that are dedicated to, mostly had the logic of ‘less is more’ and lasted under 30 minutes, of course giving their message concisely and comprehensively. This time, the compositions last noticeably more, but without losing anything of their quality or essence. All the same, when a record is really good, you look for a little longer duration. And thankfully the situation is once again “no fillers, only killers”. We are talking about top notch Black/Speed metal with solid/proper production for the genre, but mostly with nice ideas. When the black metal riffing takes over, there’s a Dissection aura, the vocals lend an extra nightmarish atmosphere and the speed metal drumming seamlessly ties in and drives all these ideas. There are also black ‘n’ roll elements and some melodic parts that don’t sound out of place. Overall, the record contains some fantastic riffs and sets the bar very high for the rest bands of the genre for 2023. Afterall, I don’t think that Hellripper have anything to envy from similar bands of their generation, such as Midnight and Toxic Holocaust. “Warlocks & Withered Hags” amply proves this.