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Hellchild | Bareskin | review | metal | Lollipop


Bareskin (Howling Bull America)
by Paul Lee

From the striking of the first chords, Japan's Hellchild reminds me of Heartwork-era Carcass with their groove-based power-death metal. At other times, they sound like Pantera and slower Napalm Death. The problem is, throughout the album I constantly tried to peg Hellchild's influences rather than focusing on their music. Possibly the problem is that since I discovered brilliant Japanese black avant-garde metallers, sigh, I've expected other Japanese metal bands to be as insanely creative and irreverent. To be fair, Bareskin is a formidable beast and the more I've listened to it, the more it's crept under my skin. Songs like "SelfScorn" and "In Indulgence" have a ferocity about them. From what I've heard, Hellchild were more violent on their previous releases, and have now incorporated more melody into their thunder. If vocalist Tsukasa varied his growly vocal attack somewhat, Bareskin would be even more interesting.

No doubt about it, Hellchild have the talent and the chops to be great. With more interesting vocal techniques and musical experimentation, Hellchild could become a major Japanese metal force.
(PO Box 40129 San Francisco, CA 94140)


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