Saturday 20 July 2013

Superchrist - Holy Shit

I'm nearly at the point now where I can post more regular reviews again, hopefully from next week onwards. My newly organised schedule is helping too. I thought that I'd escape from the heat too, as I've been travelling back and forth to Leeds again this week by train and it's been pretty uncomfortable. I'm revisiting Hells Headbangers again with this review and Chicago's heavy metal horde Superchrist. These guys aren't the first band you think of when you think of Hells Headbangers, but they bring a great traditional sound to the label's roster.

Superchrist have been playing their heavy rock n roll since 1998 and Holy Shit is their sixth full length! Bassist/Vocalist Chris Black boasts an impressive CV, having spent time in US black metal horde Nachtmystium as well as currently being active in Cruz Del Sur band Pharaoh and Profound Lore band Dawnbringer. In their own right though, Superchrist are an extremely prolific beast.


1. Run To The Night
2. Take Me To The Graveyard
3. Hot Tonight
4. Get Lost
5. Burn Again
6. Black Thunder
8. Don't Wanna Know
9. Sewer Snake
10. Beer Metal

This certainly isn't the sort of siren song you’d expect from a Hells Headbangers release, but it strangely sits perfectly against the backdrop of blackened death metal. Superchrist are pure rock n roll. Run To The Night conjures up drunken sing-alongs and throwbacks to Motorhead and Maiden. The guitar makes it obviously, with tonnes of melody and hair-whipping solos. Take Me To The Graveyard highlights the frenetic pace at which Superchrist to play. It's full of bouncing drums, driving riffs and some great vocal harmonies. Ideal if you want a break from your eternal gothdom!

From here on in, the songs get shorter but oh so sweeter. Hot Tonight has some really sleazy lyrics and Get Lost features a meaty solo, which starts of low and increases in squeal throughout its duration. I can imagine plenty of air grabs and glam rock style scissor kicks taking place to this one. At certain points, the music contained on Holy Shit reminds me of some of the revivalist thrash bands like Municipal Waste, at their good time best. Obviously, Superchrist don't play thrash themselves, but they manage to inject their heavy metal with that same good time vibe, which for me is what makes them so endearing. Black Thunder is a standout track for me and while listening to it, it occurred to me that a lot of the wannabe power metal bands too their cues from heavy metal like this. That doesn't have much to do with this record or Superchrist, but you'll see where I'm coming from when you listen to it.

PAMF is a brief frolic and Don't Wanna Know heralds more melody and more of a mainstream sound overall. That doesn't last too long though as Sewer Snake brings back that Motorhead attitude from earlier in the record. It's also one of the slower songs present, with a more laid-back tempo and structure. The production brings it alive though and much like the rest of Holy Shit, it's clear and precise. Each instrument sounds crisp and the vocals are pitched at a decent volume, so they don't get swallowed up. The extended instrumental mid-section and solo justifies the length of the song as well.

It all closes out with the suitably titled Beer Metal, which sums up this album pretty darn well. An awesome chunk of good old heavy metal with surprisingly little pretence. You'll have heard this before, but that won't stop from you from grinning from ear to ear once you've stuck it on!

Hear it on bandcamp here:-

You can buy a digital version from the above bandcamp page if you like it. Alternatively, if you like to hold something in your hands, you can buy it on either CD via Hells Headbangers here

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