Hellbastard The Need To Kill

Hellbastard The Need To Kill
Having been blasting out their Crass-meets-Slayer crossover for a quarter-century now, it's not surprising UK-based thrash punks Hellbastard would be capable of releasing 14 vicious tracks, especially since its their first new music in over a decade. They've had plenty of time to formulate some new ideas. Trouble is, they appear to have crammed them all into this album, forsaking any element of refinement. Where the quartet's metal riffs grinding against crusty punk politics was gratingly enthralling way back when, they have lost the bite that made albums such as Thrashing A Dead House and Natural Order so definitive to the crossover crust/metal genre. While they're even better musicians after so long, tracks such as "Anthropological Angst" and "Going Postal" feel disjointed, like a haphazard collection of riffs slapped together in an effort to get everything out at once. That's not to say every tune is a loser. There are gems, particularly the Dave Lombardo-meets-Discharge of "Business Pighole." Still, there are too many ideas and not enough clear destinations here, making The Need To Kill passable but overanxious. After so long, one would expect a bit more patience and scrutiny from an act with the history of Hellbastard. (Selfmadegod)