Greece has produced quite a few interesting metal acts in recent years, especially thrash metal bands. In keeping with that trend, Hillbilly Revenge (falling into the crossover/Bay Area thrash camp) and Human Slaughter (leaning more toward the crust/death side) put together ten-track split called Hillbilly Slaughter.
Hillbilly Slaughter opens with five tracks from Hillbilly Revenge, but unfortunately March of the Hillbillies is only an instrumental opening piece. It has a very Sargent D & the S.O.D. feel to it. I actually would have loved this to be a full song, but it wasn’t to be. Zombie Town Mosh is the first proper song on the album, and despite it being a lower tempo, it’s fairly effective with some definite nods to older Anthrax and Exodus, perhaps with a sprinkling of Teutonic thrash in there.
Self-titled track Hillbilly Revenge and Black Red Bar pick up the pace again, but the fourth track, Reduced To Decay is just a blistering beast of a song, and at only 1:43, it leaves me wanting a lot more of this style.
Human Slaughter takes over on track six with the Greek-language Sti Dini Tou Xaous. We’ve definitely jumped into crust territory here with a pronounced d-beat on the drums and the guttural vocals of Tolis.
At this point, Human Slaughter transition over into English for two songs, Doomsday Is Coming and A Good Cop Is A Dead Cop, although Tolis’s accent is so thick on the latter I can’t be 100% certain.
Much like their album-mates, the fourth track, Pisteveis Pws T’ Aksizeis is my favorite Human Slaughter track on this split. With some variance on the timing and a thundering bass line, it’s a solid piece of crusty death/thrash. The album finishes with the live version of Pathitiki Neolaia which sounds like it was recorded on a 2003-era flip phone. The “kvlt” of you will love it, but those of us who actually enjoy hearing music likely won’t.
Overall, Hillbilly Slaughter ends up being a collection of two EPs from skilled, if not particularly original-sounding, thrash bands. If thrash is your thing, this album connects all the dots and should give you exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re an older fan who has grown bored with thrash at this point in your life, neither band is likely to change your mind.
Rating: 7 / 10
Label: Witches Brew
More Information (Hillbilly Revenge): Facebook | Encyclopaedia Metallum
More Information (Human Slaughter): Facebook | Encyclopaedia Metallum
Release Date: 09 Jan 2015
Special thanks to The Metal Detector Music Promotions for the complementary review copy.