Hang the Bastard - Sex in the Seventh CircleHang the Bastard have taken many bold choices in their recent turn of direction. Opting in favour of pounding heavy rhythms, neck-pulsing guitar riffs and guttural , wretching vocals. The last might not seem a very attractive point but it’s actually one of the factors which sets Hang the Bastard aside from other bands in a similar vein, the vocal style which would be common on a black metal album recorded in a dustbin find themselves well placed amidst the Black Sabbath inspired nodding and stomping songs.

‘Keeping Vigil’, like most album openers, is an advertisement for what’s to come, with ‘Morrs Temptest’ adding the welcome change in dynamics to the mix. ‘Mists of Albion’ takes this a step further, opting for a heavier bass sound and cleaner vocals. Being much longer in length there a strong idea that this is the staple point of the album and as it progresses it’s clear this is one of the songs the band should be most proud of. This is followed by the title track, very similar to the opener with its fun and bouncy rhythm. It is, however, genius in the track listing to immediately lift the listener into a state of angry happiness after an 8-minute period of self-reflection and gazing at the sky in wonder.

With “Sex in the Seventh Circle” it’s clear the group know how to write the heaviest music of the age, but with the aforementioned ‘Mists of Albion’ it’s nice to see they know how to tone it down in favour of something that is still brilliant in its own right, yet with the tracklisting know how to properly construct an album to keep the listener engaged for the 47-minute duration. After ‘Reprised’ there is a slight dip in attention but there’s a re-grab at the last minute with first single ‘Sweet Mother’, a great way to finish.

Hang the Bastard are one of the heaviest bands that the average person will listen to, but also one of the more enjoyable releases to come out this year. Adrenaline-filled, but leaves room for thought.

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