Hellcannon’s 2010 debut album was a serious thrashing force that put the band on the map. And though there wasn’t much fanfare around 2014’s “Terminal”, the band soldiered on with another release, putting out “Return To The Wasteland” earlier this year. The good news for fans of Hellcannon is that this album is very faithful to the band’s crushing style of black/thrash metal. Hellcannon definitely takes a lot of influence from the more extreme metal subgenres, as this record is filled with tremolo-picking and blastbeats (“Warhaze”, the opener, even kicks off with both of those elements after a short intro). Despite the band’s clear affinity towards these other styles, they remain distinctly a thrash band. This is because the band often injects more typical thrash riffs into each of their songs, complimented with the classic kick-snare thrash beat.
Much like on their debut record, Hellcannon has put together a potent collection of songs. Bands that lean in a more extreme direction often fail to write memorable hooks, but Hellcannon has no shortage of interesting ideas. “Road Warriors” in particular stands out as one track that is unique because of its less aggressive approach. Of course, the vocals are still a blackened affair, but musically, the song is much tamer than the band’s normal high-speed forceful thrashing, instead opting for a speed metal sound. Aside from this track, songs like “Day of Demise” and especially “Disarmed and Deceased” (which almost feels like a punk song) stand out as being some of the band’s better works. While most of the album is pretty fast, there are moments like the intro to "Blood Moon Rising" where the band unearths huge riffs that allow rolling double bass to take centre stage.
“Return To The Wasteland” doesn’t really have any weak points. It feels slightly less impactful than “Infected With Violence”, but that might just be the result of having listened to that album for the last 7 years, and this new one a much shorter amount of time. Ultimately, “Return To The Wasteland” very accurately describes what Hellcannon is about, and that is delivering a brutal, black/thrash experience!
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"Day of Demise"
"Disarmed and Deceased"
4.4/5 or 88%.