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Review

The Hellfreaks – God On The Run Review

Band: The Hellfreaks
Album: God On The Run
Label: Sunny Bastards
Genre: Punk
Country: Hungary
Release Date: February 7th, 2020
For Fans Of: Rise Against

“Who the hell are The Hellfreaks and why the hell do they sound so good?”

A battering ram has four wheels, as does your new favourite powerhouse quartet from Budapest, The Hellfreaks. With their sophomore album since their 2015 reinvention, God On The Run is non-stop fun all the way through. So without further ado, let’s give chase to God and slip into the madness.

Right out of the gate comes the teeth-kicking lead single, Men In Grey. First impressions are important, and this track makes one hell of an impression. Punk-rock riffs and bouncing basslines compliment one another beautifully in this song, matched by the impossibly catchy chorus as Shaky Sue leads you in screaming along with her.

Next up is Red Sky, carrying with it a very Rise Against opening riff vibe that builds into a foot stomping, fist pumping chorus just 40 seconds in that cements in your brain. Forget your morning coffee, blasting Red Sky is how you should start your days from now on. The quartet show their amazing musicianship in this song, where the strength of each member is on full display here. Give it more than one listen and focus on each instrument, you will not regret it.

Switching up the vibe exponentially is the unique Hello Sea. It’s difficult to draw any comparisons to other bands or songs, as this track is unlike any other punk song I’ve heard before. From the frantic introduction to the chilled verse sections, you won’t be bored for a single second during this one.

No, I don’t know what a Doldrum Dynasty is either, all I know is that it’s musical namesake ABSOLUTELY SLAPS. Watch your back, Rise Against. The Hellfreaks are nipping on your heels and this song is an excellent example of their thrashy three-minute expertise. Grab a copy of the lyrics to this song as soon as they’re available, otherwise you’ll find yourself constantly humming the tune and saying “hey for the wind and your DOLDRUM DYNASTY heh beh through the in front of me”. Props cannot go entirely to Shaky Sue, however, the guitar work in this song deserves special praise. The first verse contains palm-muted arpeggio picking that trades off for an almost Amon Amarth type riff in the second verse, crescendoed by a lovely outro of slides if my ears are not mistaken.

Back to the pop-punk influences at the midway point, Witches Heal brings back the foot-stomping, air-drumming catchy choruses that The Hellfreaks are doing a great job of proving their signature. Once again, the energy continues along the path of this trailblazing album, the tightness and expertise of the entire band is on full show here, begging the question to all listeners: “When in God’s name are you touring here???”

Not every album is perfect, however,  when compared to the shell-shocking calibre that each song prior brings, it’s hard to judge Royal Blue that harshly. Especially when it’s accompanied by one of the best basslines on the album. There’s a lot more punk-rock influences here, especially when it comes to that whiplash inducing solo that would bring a demented smile to the face of Kerry King himself. Nothing particularly offensive or under-performing on this song, it just doesn’t shake you to your very core as much as the previous songs.

Gang vocals soar on the intro to the album’s third single, Adrenalized, and soar is the perfect word for this one. Guitars, vocals, drums, the arrangement of this song is a guaranteed new show-favourite. You get a strong feeling that the next shows The Hellfreaks play may not be in front of a crowd of die-hard fans to begin, but it damn sure will be by the end. Songs like Adrenalizedenvoke an image of stomping Nike’s, sweat-drenched T-shirts and a sea of jumping and screaming fans. Bring on the live version, I say.

As Above,  so below. Shaky Sue is definitely channeling the immortal spirit of Otep in these verses, as she takes you by the hand and leads you down a dark hallway. At the end of the second chorus, the band breaks down into an ethereal bridge, promising to soothe the soul of all that ails ye before bringing it back to a short solo and the final chorus. 

Bringing back the spellbinding energy from earlier in the album, Clear Water is another prime example of everything that The Hellfreaks set out to achieve and succeed at, above and beyond.

By far the slowest track in the lot, the closing Tabby has a wide array of musical diversity here. The use of synthesizers in the verses pairs very nicely with the bass and drums in the pre-chorus, and an almost Marilyn Manson vibe is detected after the first chorus. Once again, The Hellfreaks show that their talents exceed far beyond the confines of any labels on their music, and show absolutely no signs of slowing down. Add God On The Run to your collection as soon as possible, you are in for an unforgettable experience.

Rating: 9.5/10

Tracklist:

  1. Men In Grey
  2. Red Sky
  3. Hello Sea
  4. Doldrum Dynasty
  5. Witches Heal
  6. Royal Blue
  7. Adrenalized
  8. As Above
  9. Clear Water
  10. Tabby

Total Playing Time: 31:45

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