What will happen if we take the sunflower – the representation of joy, literally a little Sun on the stem – and pour some gloomy darkness on it? What emotions will it cause and how triggering will it be? The Hellfreaks are presenting a new album “Pitch Black Sunset”, which the whole leitmotif is this exciting interplay of bright happiness and dark creepiness. So let’s go and find out if something prevails in the end.
The album starts with a concise atmospheric intro “Sunrise”, which, at first, seems positive and somewhat optimistic even, yet sounds of tension are gradually creeping in, warming us up for something that`s about to come down. “Are you ready” is the only line in the song repeated in the refrain. So, we’re shivering a bit, but yes we are!
And then goes active and blasting “Old Tomorrows”, which could be a soundtrack for some movie due to its catchiness and drive. Energetic punk-rock touch with emotional lyrics and extreme vocals create a very uplifting yet intense composition, that speeds up closer to the end and gets crowned with a guitar solo.
The screeching rasping sounds of “Hit Me Where It Hurts” disclose this album as a multifaceted piece, as here we get more of an industrial metal feeling, boiled by aggressive riffs, viscous verses, and rhythm changes, that won’t let you catch a breath for sure. And if you like breathing, well, the next song isn’t for you as well – “Chaos” is totally an ass-kicking in a shape of a song: a vortexing wild speedy track with raspy guitars and adrenaline-rising vocals. And it all fits in less than 2 minutes!
“Weeping Willow” is an unreal and cosmic tune, it’s electronic from the very start, with Asmr-ish soft-spoken vocals, which are supposed to be relaxing, but it adds volumes to the creepiness. The song gets more acoustic and then steadily “grows flesh” – it gets louder, and guitars start breaking through this ethereal lullaby. And in the end it just all falls into the abyss of horror, metal, and extreme. And you fall there with the song too, and, guess what – you surely like this!
“Body Bag” is a tune for a macabre dance at the phantasmagoric party, with screams and a crazy drive. The same party goes on in a “Rootless Soul Riot”, thanks to the galloping drums this song is the ultimate banger of the album.
“PBSS” it’s the abbreviation of “Pitch Black Sunset“( and I hope it’s not a spoiler:)), so it’s the title track of the album. It produces a heavy and supernatural effect, with infernal screams and raspy sounds shaping the atmosphere of the song…as well as the atmosphere of the whole album, I’d say, as it comes to its end already.
The closing track is an instrumental “Sunset”, and it’s like an audio painting, which depicts a gorgeous sunset, but imagine you are observing it after an absolutely hectic and nightmare-ish hell of a day.
To conclude the whole thing – this is surely one of the most dynamic, complete and eclectic albums I listened to in a while. The timeline of the album is pretty short according to contemporary heavy records standards, yet it’s also something that adds to the dynamic and completeness. And yeah, most of all I admire how The Hellfreaks managed to stay true to themselves and remain recognisable and, at the same time, be so different and diverse and compile so many sides of their creative vision on this record, and yeah, balance darkness with vividness in their own unique way.