Aggressive, hard-hitting and full of energy, Long Island’s This Is Hell are back at it. While the band has gone through some lineup changes over the past year or so, the powerful duo of singer Travis Reilly and guitarist Rick Jimenez are still marching forward. Black Mass is their fourth full-length album.
This Is Hell throws their new drummer, Mike Sciulara, right into the mix with the opening track, “Acid Rain.” While Mike does a great job of ferociously keeping time, Rick rolls out some striking guitar solos. “Black History” then follows and it’s arguably the best song on the disc. Travis starts out by yelling, but when it’s time for the chorus, his voice sounds nearly identical to Shadows Fall singer Brian Fair. Strong riffs and another guitar solo towards the end make this a very solid all-around song.
A relaxing guitar intro at the beginning of “Black Mass” gives you the impression that the band decided to ease up a bit, but that is definitely not the case. It turns into a fiery yet emotional track that will make you want to kick someone in the face. Sciulara pulls you in once again on “The Reckoning,” as he breaks out an awesome drum solo in the song. Peter van den Berg shows off smooth basslines on “The Wars: Part One,” while Travis gets his feelings out on “The Wars: Part Two,” explaining that he has a short fuse and follows no rules.
If you’re looking for an in-your-face album to get you pissed off and ready to beat the hell out of something, Black Mass is for you. While I’m not usually a fan of hardcore, I can definitely make an exception for these guys. This is a very melodic, guitar heavy disc that will get you pumped.