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BARBATOS / HELLRIPPER - Split

Release date July 8/18 (Bandcamp / Under Cover Records)

I'm pretty liberal with respect to displaying album covers on this site, but the cover for this split is just so over-the-top that I couldn't bring myself to upload it. Cue the chained nuns being abused by a couple of goat creatures. You'll have to check it out for yourself if you're interested.

First up we have two tracks from Japan's long running Barbatos. I ran into this band with their 2003 Rocking Metal Motherfucker release and was impressed at the time with their high energy, punkified black/thrash. Check out 'Red Leather Bitch' and 'Apocalyptic Nuclear Hell' from that release for some cool blow-back-your-hair-caves-in-your-face aggression. In this case though the production isn't as good, the sound not as in-your-face as it needs to be, and the vocals are too off-kilter. That said, get past these little issues and you still have two cool tracks of hot rockin' metal.

Hellripper are up next with two tracks of vicious, speed-infatuated blackness that gets the adrenaline going but quick. 'Nun Fucking Armageddon 666' comes out the gate in an intense attack akin to Marduk's Panzer Division Marduk or your typical goat-worshipping Impaled Nazarene track. 'Vomit On The Cross' follows and remarkably ups the ante even further in an all out speed metal sprint with a memorable chorus: "Vomit On The Cross - Yeeaahhhh!" Hellripper's four-minute allotment here represents some of the best extreme metal produced so far this year. Face melting.

[7.5]

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