It’s not easy being original when the triple threat of thrash, death and black metal’s respective rulebooks are being shoved up your nose.
Norwegian metalheads are a crafty bunch, however, and Hellish Outcast are smarter than most. Stay Of Execution outstrips the brittle fury of 2012’s Your God Will Bleed within opener Partition Of Lust’s furious three minutes. Deathly by design, thrash by default and blackened by the band’s own steely eyed focus, the syncopated scythe-swishes and stately gait of Heresiarch and Gods Of Fear’s squall of slow-mo pit fodder are not aspiring to explore metal’s outer limits, but their freshness and fisheye lens bravado pay tribute to musicians of a distinctive and persuasive stripe. Even when barrelling unstoppably forward on the thudding thrash-up of Hunter Supreme, the Hellish Outcast credo seems to be one of letting the magic happen without contrivance. Thrash diehards will recognise the spirit and intensity here, but whether by fortune or design, this band are perverting the natural order and honouring the metal code in equal measure.