Born, Suffering, Death

Hellman

After independently releasing a short demo titled “Desktop Genocide” in September 2022, HELLMAN have recently released their debut album “Born, Suffering, Death” through Swedish record label Black Lodge Records.
February 23, 2024

HELLMAN is a Chilean Death ‘n’ Roll band that formed in 2021, in the capital city of Santiago.  After independently releasing a short demo titled “Desktop Genocide” in September 2022, the three-man group have recently released their debut album “Born, Suffering, Death” through Swedish record label Black Lodge Records.  This album also includes the two songs that HELLMAN unveiled on their 2022 demo.  While Death ‘n’ Roll may not be everyone’s cup of tea–including mine–this particular band offers 10 songs that sufficiently offer both the intensity of Death Metal and classic sound of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock.  

The first track off “Born, Suffering, Death” is “The 4th Power.”  It opens with synthesizers, which slowly build up until it sucker-punches the listener with a sudden blast of Death Metal instrumentation, including a barrage of double bass from Pedro Pablo Puente.  Eventually, we hear lead vocals from Felipe Ferrada (who is also the bassist) that sound strikingly similar to those of the legendary Brazilian Extreme Metal artist Max Cavalera.  While the opening track leans more in the field of Death Metal, the next track “Desktop Activist” from the demo “Desktop Genocide” incorporates more elements of Hard Rock and Traditional Heavy Metal.  “A Waste of a Human Being” follows suit on this musical trajectory before HELLMAN makes a U-turn on “The Cycle,” a 2 ¼-minute song that bleeds Death Metal with Thrash Metal-style beats from Pedro and fast, downtuned guitar riffs from Sebastien Puente.  The sixth song “Unnecessary Consuming” especially stood out to me, due to Pedro Pablo Puente’s drumming solo.  While it’s nowhere near as good as Dave Lombardo’s solo on “Angel of Death” by the American thrashers SLAYER, the solo on “Unnecessary Consuming” is more intricate and almost just as heavy.  

 

On “Silent Genocide,” I honestly felt that the group kind of went all over the place with their sound.  The first couple of minutes were Death ‘n’ Roll, followed by a brief Death-Doom segment, before barrelling towards the end with a sound and pace similar to Speed Metal.  I didn’t dislike “Silent Genocide”–which is also from HELLMAN’s 2022 demo–but it could have benefited from some more uniformity.  HELLMAN diversifies their album’s track listing with a cover version of “Out of Hand,” which was originally written by fellow Death ‘n’ Roll band ENTOMBED.  The instrumentation on HELLMAN’s cover sounds the same as that on the original version, but the production quality makes it sound heavier, and Felipe Ferrada’s death growls add an extra layer of intensity.  Don’t hate me for preferring HELLMAN’s cover over ENTOMBED’s version, because it’s not uncommon for a cover to be better than the original.  In addition to doing “Out of Hand” proper justice with their own artistry, the Chilean trio gets more bonus points for bringing their very first album to a great close with the track “Where Was God.”

 

Born, Suffering, Death” was a genuinely good effort on HELLMAN’s part.  Since it’s only their first full-length record, there is definitely room for improvement.  I wished I heard some blast beating from Pedro Puente, but that might be biased on my part, since I am obsessed with that sort of drumming.  As I stated before, Death ‘n’ Roll is an acquired taste and not everyone’s cup of tea, but this album has made me open to further exploring this subgenre of Death Metal.  I hope it does the same for you.

 

8 / 10

Excellent

Songwritting

8

Musicianship

8

Memorability

8

Production

9
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"Born, Suffering, Death" Track-listing:

1. The 4th Power

2. Desktop Activist

3. A Waste of a Human Being

4. The Cycle

5. Bringer of Death

6. Unnecessary Consuming

7. Silent Genocide

8. Sacrifice Zone

9. Out of Hand (Entombed Cover)

10. Where Was God

 

Hellman Lineup:

Felipe Ferrada – Vocals, Bass

Pedro Pablo Puente – Drums

Sebastian Puente – Guitars

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