Black Mass/Hellraised - Split - Alliance of Evil (Grim Nocturnal Records) - Back
Here we have a fairly raw black/death split between US-based bands, Black Mass and Hellraised. Black Mass hails from Maryland and plays very harsh and utterly aggressive black/death metal similar to Beherit. Hellraised hailing from Virginia, performs a slightly more thrash/death style aggression similar to Sadus. Both bands are as equally interesting. By this, I mean both bands aren't too particularly philosophical with their lyrics (whence their Satanic beliefs) nor do their song structures vary from one another all too much. Which is to say, I don't really think one is more brutal or aggressive than the other. "Alliance of Evil" is truely a statement of malicious intent. It's just raw death metal aggression done without any of the more popular antidotes such as: keyboards, half-acoustic/distorted guitars, half-clean/grunting vocals, or some relentlessly overused Industrial-samples. Listening to this "Alliance of Evil", I hear a lot of Bathory (R.I.P., Quorthon!) and Celtic Frost influence. This particular release showcases both bands on a slightly sub-par level (production-wise), but is a very wise investment for those hardcore underground deathheads! Look out for new albums from both bands soon...

Rating: 70

Reviewed By: Thomas Mitchell