GEHENNA: Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris: LP + 7” EP

May 08, 2013

Most metal-tinged hardcore—or hardcore-tinged metal, whatever—does fuckall for me. Too often it’s too pretentious, too quasi-macho, or too boneheaded for me to spend more than a few minutes paying attention. Gehenna’s 2000 debut album has always been one of those exceptions for me, something that shits all over both worlds and ends up its own feral beast. From the opening salvo of “First Blood” to the final assault of “One Way to Die” eleven tracks later, Negotium… is an unrelenting shower of caustic slivers of rage set to tempos that rival DRI in their pre-Crossover prime. Yes, the metal is there, but instead of an endless barrage of chugga-chugga-guitarsolo-chugga-chugga, it blackens the core of what would otherwise be another exercise in speed, adding seething virulence and heft instead of wankery. This time around they’ve included their version of DRI’s “Yes Ma’am,” an outtake from the session previously available as a limited edition flexi, and a three-track bonus EP limited to three hundred copies that contains a couple o’ comp tracks and an alternate version of “Bite It.” If you missed it the first time ‘round, I highly recommend you get it while the gettin’s good.

 –jimmy (A389)