Birds Of Prey - The Hell Preacher

Comprised of members from Beaten Back To Pure, Alabama Thunderpussy, Baroness and Burnt By The Sun, this all-star studio project (it’s confirmed that they’ll play their first show at Maryland DeathFest 2010) was created with the sole purpose of cranking out an old-flavoured death-metal with a southern-rock vibe. That’s exactly what is delivered in “The Hell Preacher,” their third full-length work in four years, a fierce and old-school death-metal leaning towards Entombed and Gorefest merged with a southern-rock groove. If you’re acquainted with both “Weight of the Wound” from 2006 and “Sulfer and Semen” from 2008 and appreciate the content of their songs, I believe you won’t be disappointed with “The Hell Preacher” since it treads on similar ground as its two predecessors. The only real sign of progression is lyric-wise, unlike the previous two works where vocalist Ben Hogg is taking the piss on several matters, the new work is a concept album telling the dark and twisted story of an inmate turned priest and cult-leader.
Musically, throughout thirteen tracks guitarists Erik Larson and Bo Leslie constantly churn out sulphuric and crushing riffs occasionally tempered with its right share of melody and groove, while drummer extraordinaire Dave Witte and bassist Summer Welch provide the usual stiff and potent rhythmic section, successfully creating an hybrid sound that will surely appeal to fans of Entombed and Gorefest circa “Wolverine Blues” and “Erase” respectively. These comparisons are incredibly evident on both “Blind Faith” and “Warriors of Mud… The Hell Fighters”, where vocalist Ben Hoog sounds massively like Gorefest’s Jan-Chris De Koeyer.
Bottom line, Birds of Prey aren’t offering anything new nor will they blow anyone out of the water with their Southern take on groovy death ‘n’ roll, but I’m positively sure that those of you ranking Entombed, Dismember and Gorefest among their favourite groups will surely fall prey under their dirty claws. (6.5/10)

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