One thing’s for sure, there’s no particular shortage of hard-hitting, aggressive metal music regularly manifested from the deepest bowels of the earth. One such example out of many showcased here so far is H8teball, a masked band from Scotland running off of a rough mix of thrash and death metal. H8teball is a fairly new band having formed just three years ago, now in 2020 comes their debut EP Undead, their first testing ground and opportunity to demonstrate their level of capability thus far.
“Almighty” encapsulates H8teball’s death/thrash hybrid perfectly from the start, opening with a darkened take on the typical thrash lead and launching into a chugging verse rounded out by brutal (in a good way) guttural vocals. The riffing is somewhat generic for metal standards, but the blazing double bass on the choruses make up for it in terms of metalness. “Unbreakable” with its huge, fist-pumping hook has more single potential, a power-packed number much in keeping with guitarist Scot Duff’s intentions to immerse listeners in an abundance of uplifting energy.
“Black Mamba” trades in fire-footed madness for a solid groove, showcasing their thrash side with plenty of true-to-form flavour. The kicks do come in later on for a deadly quasi-breakdown section later on, the trade-off of styles creating an amalgamation of Megadeth and Death (or just MegaDeath for short). “Undead” closes the EP, between the riffing and the vocals creating the auditory impression of a thrashier Lamb of God. The soloing could be stronger on this one, and perhaps over time this will improve in subsequent releases for H8teball. Still, the tune packs a sufficient punch, definitely more than good enough to go out on.
H8teball, judging by their EP are like many bands in the early stages of their career: A fair bit of promise and sure room for improvement. Thus while there are things to criticize, it’s only the beginning and the band can only go uphill from here if they set themselves fully to the task. With the strength that H8teball shows out the gate, there’s no doubt that they would be up for the challenge and could build themselves into a formidable unit in metal in the coming years. Off of that, whatever they put out next will definitely be worth the anticipation.