Hell United - Aura Damage (Godz ov War Productions)

Thrashy, gnarly, brutal, grinding heavy metal. Problem? Thought not...

Poland is not a country many would associate with producing high-quality metal. Sausages yes, but certainly from my lofty heights in the UK and in Australia where most of this website's readership is based Poland remains somewhat uncharted territory for metal fans. Hopefully though, the new release from Hell United will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Behemoth, Vader and Decapitated in shining a light into a small eastern-European country who apparently still has a lot to be very annoyed about.

Those familiar with Hell United will know that there is little need to look  any further for speedy and bile-fuelled excellence; very little has changed on Aura Damage from 2008s debut full-length HornoKracy - a kitten-punching album if there ever was one. Tunes like raging opener Red Limitations and Let The Sleeping Dogs Lie are a perfect example of the aforementioned anger, whereas closing track Totality of I breaks somewhat from the rest of the album. Of course, there is the Johan Hegg-esque vocal qualities and the guitar tones are eerily reminiscent of Heaven Shall Burn but the track is much slower, much doomier (that sounds like a word...) and much more listenable than the rest.

A little of this does break through on Deathlike Cold, the opening section of which brings to mind early Baroness material. Still, the rest of the album is pure filth of the best kind, rarely venturing into any other kind of metal theatric - there are points where it is noticeable that some metal bands would have put in a whispered vocal line or some form of silly organ solo (the horror!) but Hell United do away with such frills and continue to blow away any other band who claim to be "death metal".


Aura Damage is out now.