Interview with HELLBRINGER
The Band: Hellbringer
Answers by: Josh Bennett (drums)
Hellbringer was born in 2010 and they are that kind of thrash band with attitude and a very aggressive sound that when you first discover it makes you say “what the fuck…these guys are crazy…”. Intense as fire, direct to the throat thrash metal and with a live performance that will shake you all. We expect to see them through Europe, because these guys really are gonna burn it!
Hello Josh and congratulations for your fantastic new album
Hellbringer is an Australian band, from Canberra, but before Hellbringer it was Forgery, what is the connection between them?
The band was called Forgery at the start. Just before the re-release of our self titled EP on Iron Pegasus we discovered there was some other band from Norway or somewhere also called Forgery. So to avoid confusion and since it wasn’t a pain at the time we decided to just rename it.
As Hellbringer you started with an Ep in 2011 and your first full length Dominion of Darkness in 2012, which received great reviews. What do you think will be the reaction to your new album “Awakened from the Abyss”?
I think thrash maniacs will love it. It’s a big step up from the last album in every way. We are very happy with it which is the main thing anyway.
I think “Awakened from the Abyss” is the confirmation that Helbringer is one of those bands destined to carry the flag of Thrash in the new century…
Thanks for the kind words. We don’t really see ourselves as “carrying a flag”. We’re just playing the music we love and playing thrash how it is supposed to be played. There are a lot of crap “thrash” bands out there today and if people choose to listen to us over them that’s great!
How long did you work on “Awakened from the Abyss”?
The writing for this album was quite a long slog indeed. I think it was all or most of 2015 writing and working it out. We were a lot more fussy this time around and put more thought into it so it was longer than Dominion. There were riffs and sections of songs getting changed during the writing to more suiting ideas.
In your opinion what is the most important element in your thrash approach?
I’ll give you three: Honesty, conviction and aggression
So simple and true, Josh. I was totally surprised because of the intensity of your album, only seven songs, but killer songs all of them, you push the pedal from the very first song till the end?
We wanted this album to be much more intense and aggressive than Dominion.
I think the album is a good length for this sort of music. You don’t want it to overstay it’s welcome with this style of music so to speak. Otherwise it can start to get a bit stale and becomes easy to lose interest. All killer no filler is certainly better than having extra songs for the sake of it.
Sure. We are also going to enjoy the variety among your repertoire. For example, we get songs as Fall of the Cross of a dark and atmospheric Thrash
I think there is a good amount of variety on this album. People can have a tough time hearing it with this sort of music but it is certainly on this album. An evil atmosphere is also very important for music like this too.
Tracks as Coven of Darkness with awesome guitar display and mastering the tempo changes as sonic waves that change the mood of the song from one moment to another…
We wanted songs like this that have a lot of different sections and beats. It keeps things interesting. This song has some total heavy metal sections in it too.
Iron Gates, mostly a mid tempo song but, of course, with a demoniacal end at top speed and a chain of solos
I would agree if that’s what you’re asking!
Or songs as Spectre of Rebirth of a technical thrash ala Coroner, really brilliant
Can’t say I hear Coroner too much myself but it’s interesting how people hear different things. One of the tougher songs on the album to play.
As I said before, an album with not a song to miss. Dreaming a little, with your delivery, if you were born back in the 80s we could be talking right now about a big thrash act?
No idea. Haven’t really thought about that. The 80s has the golden era of thrash so there would be a lot of bands we would be “competing” against!
Talking about classics, what bands have influenced your sound?
Possessed, early Slayer, Sepultura, Sodom, Destruction etc
At this stage of the “movie” we can say everything is invented, in almost every Metal genre, so what motivates a band to invest so much time and effort in this thing?
The love of it! Most killer bands these days aren’t reinventing the wheel but who cares. Good riffs and music are timeless. If it’s good it’s good.
I’m sure the guys from High Roller Records are quite happy with your performance, but how happy are you with them?
Very professional label to work with. Great distribution and no bullshit.
How do you see the thrash scene nowadays and in general the metal scene in Australia?
There are some great thrash bands around today but not a lot it seems. Thrash seems to be a tough one for people to get right. There isn’t really much of a scene here in Australia. Not for our sort of music anyway. The good gigs are few and far between and all the good bands don’t play a lot. We don’t play a lot here either as we are selective about the shows we play. When a good lineup is on though people will show!
Do you have any touring plans to promote your album?
Touring Australia for the most part is a waste of time and money because there are only about 3 cities worth playing unfortunately. We do have an album launch gig in Sydney at the end of year and then we head to Europe in March next year to play Hell over Hammerburg in Germany. There will most likely be some club shows too.
Spain is not so far from Germany… What has been the most important or impressive gig you have done?
Most impressive was Los Angeles on our recent US tour. It was the most wild, insane show we have ever played. The maniacs there are hungry for it! The whole US tour has given us a lot more exposure which is killer and playing Maryland Deathfest was a great experience.
And finally, what are your plans for the future?
The aim is firstly to start doing a lot more shows overseas to spread our darkness and aggression worldwide!
Thank you very much, Josh, for your attention and congratulations once again for one of the thrash albums of this 2016!