10th March 2017 - Beer City Skateboards And Records
01. Unleash Hell
02. There Will Be Blood
03. Watch You Burn
04. Rock And Roll Is One Hell Of A Drug
05. Live Fast Live Forever
06. God Has No Mercy
07. Destroyer At 2AM
08. Baptized In Fire
09. False Gods
Dripping with adrenaline, spewing riffs from every orifice and smelling distinctly of leather and motorcycle fumes, Wisconsin-based hardcore punk/thrash crossover band Deathwish are back with their second album. Unleash Hell is a true ripcord of an album that maintains its unruly pace across all nine tracks, clocking in at just under half an hour in length. While it’s not a particularly novel or groundbreaking sound for 2017, the consistency of the breakneck performances and attitude on the record are primal, satisfying and listening to it will more than likely to count towards your daily cardio quota.
With a buzzsaw guitar tone, the band take a less-is-more approach to the riffing, hammering out a few key riffs per song with a healthy sprinkling of leads here and there, resulting in some incredibly snappy, no-nonsense song structures that instantly grab you by the throat and almost force you to headbang – with or without your consent. With d-beat after d-beat and relentless raspy vocals, especially on tracks like “Watch You Burn” you can feel the intensity the band brought to the studio space and practically smell the spit and sweat on the mic pop filter through your speakers.
At a couple of points across the record, Deathwish unfortunately lapse into some punk clichés; specifically in the tag lines of “Rock And Roll Is One Hell Of A Drug” and “Live Fast Live Forever” which at this point in the genre’s history fall flat and feel a little redundant. Although this aspect feels dated, especially when you look at some of the exciting modern punk crossover experiments with noise, death metal and black metal, at least it can be said that Deathwish are staying consistent with the old-school Discharge d-beat aesthetic they are trying to produce, even if that does mean retreading old ground – and with an album this concise and this relentless, you have to ask whether it’s a glaring issue at all and for the most part, the thirty minute adrenaline trip the album drags you on will make up for some of its shortcomings.
As with a lot of punk, grind and d-beat albums that breeze by this fast, some tracks do pale in comparison to others but with the album’s powerful self-titled opening track, “Watch You Burn” and the brilliant closer “False Gods“, there is more than enough to cling onto here to sink your teeth into. Hard, fast and a blast from the past, Deathwish show they know what makes an exciting, chunky punk record for those times where you’re feeling a little too calm about the modern world.