Had this on heavy rotation for almost two weeks now, in which time it's crept up my mental ranking list of Youth Attack releases to perch somewhere between the Raw Nerve full length and the holiest of holies - Cult Ritual's '1st' LP.
'House of The Beating Hell' is Salvation's fourth (correct me if I'm wrong) effort on Youth Attack, and for me it serves as a hallmark of how well black metal sensations can mortise with the traditions of hardcore punk. Remarkable in it's own right for hedging the turning tide of a label devoutly rooted in the thick grunts of Hardcore and the scrappily blasted endeavours of ex-Orchid members.
I'm not a fan of the blackened shrieking-in-a-cave vocal din, I notoriously dislike most Black Metal influenced records - It took me a great deal of time to absorb the Sexdrome full length and I havn't even touched on the great wealth of 'real black metal' out there - but Matthew Adis' impassioned racket on '.. Beating Hell' coagulates so well with the clot of orbiting guitar lines and the utterly pin-point drumming that I can't help but concede to having my mind changed.
I had a big debate with fellow writer Thom over the black metal vs hardcore punk anatomy of this release. Thom is fully embroiled in all things black metal, black punk and corrosively noisey, so when he listens to '.. Beating Hell' he sees all the drum fills, riff parts and structural tweaks where Salvation havn't ticked the Black Metal box. It's different for a wildly obsessive Hardcore fan like myself, because I instantly pick up on the vocals, the cold ringing guitars and the challenging drum patterns that make most 80's punk drumming look like child's play. For me the Black Metal influence is savagely apparent, but you'll have to make your own mind's up about that.
Track two, 'Intake' is my pick of the crop. Urgent, unhinged, maniacal, laced with dread with no unecessary disharmonious driftwood in sight. The unerring drum parts of 'Tethered Man' steal the show as Adis collapses into a seething eddy of screeching, reappearing for the last orders of 'Twice The Vision' - a debilitating round off to a record that plays on pace and accuracy without forgoing raw, unrefined punk side of their blade.
I think the core reason why I'm spinning this record so much is the fact that Salvation have worked with diligence to produce a front of originality. A lot of the guitaring looks towards Darkthrone for prompts, and the structure maintains a grasp of relatively traditional punk lore, yet the whole thing sounds so young, so emergent - as if the next year or two will see an explosion of dark punk music makers waxing rhapsodic about this Philadelphia band's offerings. This is up there with the best releases I've heard so far this year.
Salvation - House of The Beating Hell