Review: “The Purpose is Cruelty” by Hellevate

Creating their own violent hybrid of East Coast and Bay Area Thrash with elements of both Extreme and Power Metal, Kansas City quintet Hellevate have long been held in high regard, their reputation growing with each subsequent record following 2012 self titled debut. That decade of destruction has seen them establish themselves as a live force to be reckoned with, treading the boards with international touring bands like Exodus, Kreator and Overkill to name but a few. This time around they have looked within and entrusted guitarist Joshua Cole to co-produce, mix and master “The Purpose is Cruelty“, fellow six string slinger Dan Whitmer also getting a co-producer credit. The pair are of course joined by vocalist Robert Browne alongside a rhythm section of bassist Zack Burke and drummer RJ Whitmer as they prepare to do battle once more…

…The cold winds blow and the Organ begins to play a macabre tune before a spoken word introduces “The Purpose is Cruelty“, creating the atmosphere and setting the tone perfectly for the riffs to ignite the inferno. Browne embraces an inner Dave Mustaine, spitting and snarling his way through the lyrics in “Sweating Bullets” style throughout the rampage, surrounded by a whirlwind of aggression that escapes the 80’s genre nostalgia with both heavier and more melodic moments giving it a full on face lift. The second rip roaring adrenaline fuelled cut is  “Dagon” which finds Browne providing plenty of evidence that not only can be do Death Metal vocals but he could well be at the level of malicious intent that could find him join the ranks of Nekrogoblikon. A classic example of Death Thrash for a modern age, this one is the knuckle duster punch in the face that no one was expecting and everyone can enjoy. Keeping the flow tight and the blades sharp, “Buried Under Mistakes” rattles the bones with flavours of Trivium in the chorus as clean singing and gang chants combine to devastating effect. A rhythmic pummelling of the finest order, RJ Whitmer deserves a medal of honour for his contribution to this one, underpinning a face melting extended solo perfectly. There is no let up in the quality of the record either with the often over used phrase all killer no filler being the perfect way to describe this one. “Die or Be Killed” is a thunderbolt from a wrathful God with a little more Power Metal leaning in the lyrical narrative than the earlier cuts while remaining a blood and thunder Thrash attack that tears down the highway like a speeding juggernaut. It’s get the f*** out the way or get broadsided as the restless and relentless energy shows no sign of dissipating until the bitter bloody end. A socially and politically aware lyrical institution, “(No) Further Action is Required” brings together the threads of the bands roots, knitting them into a blanket to smother the government with as they’ve had their chances and now it’s time for us to make our own way. Searing solos intertwine as Hellevate continue to impress, the final cut being a tour de force which reaches Slayer levels of power with the final onslaught [8.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. The Purpose is Cruelty
  2.  Dagon
  3.  Buried Under Mistakes
  4.  Die or Be Killed
  5.  (No) Further Action is Required

The Purpose is Cruelty” by Hellevate is out 14th January 2023 with pre-orders available over at bandcamp.

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