Bart M. : Hell Obelisco from Italy is here with their debut album 'Swamp Wizard Rises'. Just looking at the package might already give you a warm and comfortable sensation. It does for me anyway. Somehow (I think the title and the artwork have something to do with this) it reminds me of the countless adventures I have had as a kid, armed solely with a book, a pencil and some dice, tucked in a corner in the half dark of the attic while the full moonlight occasionally shone down the window to menacingly highlight the monstrous drawings inside. Also, the song titles all have the same make-up: three words, like 'High Speed Demon', 'Biting Killing Machine' and 'Escaping Devil Bullets'. It all sounds pretty macho and to be quite honest, it is! You gotta love this.
Although this is officially Hell Obelisco's debut album, its individual members have been long time participants in the world of (underground) metal. Think of bands such as Monumentum and Evilgroove. They describe themselves as a super group. This is a name that you keep hearing more and more and therefore does not have a lot of meaning anymore, except that you know you are dealing with a group of experienced and, usually, talented musicians. This raises the expectations quite high when you press the play button, but yes, the band complies very well with these expectations. Right from the beginning of 'Voodoo Alligator Blood' (I am now just writing down the title because it sounds so good) we hear a band that sounds as if they have been playing together for years. The music is solid like an oncoming mammoth and the sludge, bubbling up from the deepest regions of the swamp, drips from it like a dark green, sticky mass. Solid riffs, catchy melodies and a convincing, pleasant voice. I cannot make anything else of it than saying this is primitive music for tough men and women. Now I need a beer.