AS HELL RETREATS – Volition
Tennessee may not be as well known for heavy music as it is for bluegrass and country, but the quartet As Hell Retreats release some serious progressive death with vocally metal-core overtures on this second album “Volition”. 12 songs and 39 minutes of strange turns, from bassist’s Taylor Jones bottom end churning on “Matriarch” through to the general Meshuggah poly-rhythm presence out of all 4 members, this isn’t an album for the faint of heart and eardrums.
Pluses include the group’s belief in mixing up the speed and tempos – not everything is at warp levels so you can catch most of what’s going on and the lead play of Tyler Riley has a jazzy quality. The major minus is the similar scream phrasing Jackson Greene employs – great for the youth I suppose, but the older generation will get bored very quickly.
Thus As Hell Retreats fence sits with my tastes – musically outstanding, vocally average.