Review: “Making Noise, Living Fast” by HellgardeN

Brazilian Thrash act HellgardeN started as members Caick Gabriel (guitars) and Matheus Barreiros (drums), who have been playing together on own projects since they were 11 or 12 years old, joining forces later with another friend from the local scene in Diego Pascuci (Vocals) later on in 2015. This was the beginning of what would become the full formed band although they had to wait another two years to find Guilherme Biondo (bass). Over the next three years the band would play material at Festivals and club shows in Brazil, gradually shaping it into what would become “Making Noise, Living Fast“.

When the opening riff of any album owes a lot to Pantera it is usually a good sign. “Spit on Hypocrisy” not only has that Dimebag Darrell signature riff pattern but HellgardeN have also managed to capture the Pantera guitar tone to perfection. The groove swagger of the track is instantly addictive and Gabriel throws down the gauntlet to other guitarists with an undeniably high class solo. When they say this band were created in the beer and whiskey soaked basement, it’s pretty obvious what they were listening to. Barreiros has been given a huge drum sound in the mix and on “Evolution or Destruction” he gets the opportunity to show off some of his skills during elongated instrumental passages. Over multiple listens you may notice Pascuci has some small accenting issues but for the most part he is every inching the Dallas Texas Cowboy of a frontman and impressively so. First single “Learned To Play Dirty” has another face melting solo and Biondo shows off some impressive bass lines at which point you get the impression that what HellgardeN have done is create the album that Upon A Burning Body wanted to with “Southern Hostility” and that Hellyeah would love to call their own. “F*** The Consequences” is another short sharp piece of good time whiskey soaked Southern Metal that will be an instant floor filler. It’s whammy bar dropping solo is nothing short of electrifying and by the end you’re left as sweaty and breathless as the band themselves.

The second half of the record starts with its longest cut as HellgardeN draw your attention to corrupt political systems that “Brainwash” the masses into conformity. The longer running time is used for some elongated riff fest passages that are all uncontrollably headbangable, while the gang chant of the song title is going be a fist pumping call and response live. Title track “Making Noise, Living Fast” is a breakneck rager, with Gabriel unafraid to throw in bends and squeals in the turn arounds with Barreiros puts the hammer down. The lyrical theme is very much the mentality of Motorhead‘s dearly departed Lemmy Kilminster and the result is a absolute joy. Taking the Pissing Razors interpretation of the Grove Metal sound into the punchy “Believe In Yourself or Die“, HellgardeN keep delivering to goods and building upon the foundations of the previous track. This means that the beast only gets stronger. There are a couple of seemingly purposefully strained vocal moments in this one, but they only add to the show of strength beyond strength. “Possessed By Noise” closes the album out in slick Southern style with climbing riff patterns and stormy rhythmic assaults on your ear drums. An album of high octane Metal Madness that doesn’t rely on programming or synths to add anything extra, instead going down a far more organic route, this is a record for both old school and new school Metal Heads that raises its fist in the air and says “F*** School“! [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1.  Spit on Hypocrisy
  2.  Evolution or Destruction
  3.  Learned to Play Dirty
  4.  F*** the Consequences
  5.  Brainwash
  6.  Making Noise, Living Fast
  7.  Believe in Yourself or Die
  8.  Possessed By Noise

Making Noise, Living Fast” by HellgardeN is out 10th April via Brutal Records with pre-orders available here.

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