Kansas City thrash band Hellevate crack the whip on their latest EP, The Purpose Is Cruelty.
Hellevate has been shaking the earth for more than a decade. Their self-titled EP came out in 2008, a herald for the likewise labeled full-length record that landed four years later. Over the years, the band wrestled with a few line-up disruptions, but the music kept flowing with another long-player in 2016, Weapons Against Their Will, and a second EP a couple years back. Hellevate is Robert Browne (vocals), Joshua Cole (guitar), Dan Whitmer (guitar), Zack Burke (bass), and R. J. Whitmer (drums).
“The Purpose is Cruelty” announces the set in grand style, with a dramatic ramp and voiceover. When the music kicks, it kicks hard. Talkative vocals lay down the law and the rhythm section keeps everything on track. The baseline is monster, and the two-part lead guitar break inspires confidence. “Dagon” digs in on mysticism, swinging weaponized riffs. Fantasy joins the thrashing for a harrowing ride. “Buried Under Mistakes” is like waking up beneath an overpass with a splitting headache, trying to put last night together in your head and not having much luck. The song is melodic thrash, offering singable moments fans will immediately embrace.
“Die or Be Killed” is a fire-spitting mold breaker. The music has a rising quality to it you used to hear sometimes in dark metal way back when. Here, though, the spin is decidedly modern, and the exit ramp is an oddity. The curtain comes down on “(No) Further Action is Required.” The voiceover is back. This time, however, it is breaking up and the wheels seemed to have come off. The music has a more aggressive quality to it, and the vocals are determined. This EP is a keeper, with excellent thrash that will get your pulse up. Recommended.
The Purpose Is Cruelty is out on Saturday, January 14th – grab it at Bandcamp.
© Wayne Edwards