17 Feb 2013
Hell United - Aura Damage [Full length] (2012, Hellthrasher Productions)
Poland has had a good run of metalbands that fuse the raw brutality of death metal, the faster elements of thrash metal and the evil that drips from black metal. Like Norway produces black metal bands, Poland has in the last few years produced many great bands, including Behemoth, Hate and Vader that have probably been more or less responsible for creating this new wave of blackened death metal. I've had the pleasure of reviewing many bands like Pandemonium, Centurion, Embrional, Sphere, Stillborn and Empatic, and like these bands Hell United have sought a sound that combines the collected evils of black and death metal with some serious nods towards thrashy tendencies.
9 songs strong, Aura Damage - the second full length album from Hell United - perfectly showcases a great understanding of how to create high-tempo metal riddled with tremolo riffing and blasting drums. Songs like the sinister "Deathlike Cold", the equally fast-paced "Apostle of Plague" and the tenebrous closing track "Totality of I" are what make Aura Damage an album worth checking out if you are into the bands mentioned earlier.
The Polish quartet show great craftsmanship in the terms of writing metal, but it's not all fun and games. While the 2012 album shows great promise and provides great consistency in genuinely good songwriting, I found most of the album to border on a run of the mill type of stuff. True, the album makes for a good listen and consists of mostly pretty good songs, but in the end it all flows together into an immemorable blob, and only the three songs I mentioned earlier are really memorable.
Hell United's Aura Damage is an album that I won't deny has a good vibe to it. It yearns to be listened to, and the energy the album perveys is something speciel. But I gotta be honest and say that it isn't an album I would put on for my own listening pleasure. I wouldn't put it on for anything other than background music for when I do other stuff. But this purpose it serves greatly in that it has a great, oppressive atmosphere, good dynamic song structures and pretty good riffs. But what makes it weak as a piece in its entirity it's the fact that most of the songs sort of blend together. But even so I feel I must give Aura Damage by Hell United 7/10 guitars because of the sheer force that the work conveys.
1. Red Limitations
2. Apostle of Plague
3. Deathlike Cold
4. Let the Sleeping Dogs Lie
5. Aura Damage
7. Maelstorm's Gravity
8. In Odore Sanctitatis
9. Totality of I
HELL UNITED official Facebook
Hellthrasher Productions official site
Listen for yourself!