Hell To Pay – Bliss (GTR Records)

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Not the mostly aptly titled album for your average person. Fortunately for us Hell To Pay from Philadelphia don’t make music for your average person, thankfully as Bliss, is to these ears at least, bliss. Formed by members of hardcore outfit Jesus Piece, HTP take that celebrated Stockholm sound to the next level. Buzz saw guitars spew over guttural bass lines in the same manner as bands like Nails, but when they peg it back slightly they bring to mind the mighty Black Breath.

The sample heavy opener of Starve is possibly the most angry song you’ll hear this year, Sickening riffage compliments the raw vocal style while the drummer pulls blast beats out of the hat like it aint no thing, only letting up to pull off a punishing groove right at the end. With all but two tracks clocking in at around the two minute mark, Runaway marks a nice change of pace. Tortured vocals and samples over a looming riff – beautiful. Smear is one minute and four seconds of pure grindcore indulgence akin to early Napalm Death before the nine minute outro of Bliss makes sure that if your brain wasn’t leaking out of your ears before, it certainly will be now. The very fitting sample of Glory Glory Hallelujah! at the end of the track gives you a sense of accomplishment. Donald hit the button and Hell To Pay were the soundtrack, but you survived. Bravo! Chris Andrews

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