You'd probably guess what country Hellish Crossfire were from if you only saw the front cover: a decidedly satanic image where five hooded cultists summon a dark reaper-like figure from a burning pentagram, surrounded by bloodstained crucifixes and also the notable crown of thorns laying to the reaperís side, also covered in blood. Even if you think this band sucks, you've gotta give 'em one thing; they know how to make their music match the booklet.

After the (very) cheesy intro, in which a demonic fiend tears apart some helpless victim - as demonic fiends generally tend to do, the band launches into the lightning fast opener 'Conquerors of Black Souls'. Featuring near blastbeat style drumming, vicious guitar attacks, and a vocalist who sounds like he's been possessed by.... No, he IS the aforementioned demonic fiend. It sets an exceedingly high standard for the rest of the album, and Hellish Crossfire certainly don't disappoint.

From the mid paced, but by no means slow, 'Eternal Tyranny' (which, ironically, at 3:53, is the shortest song on the whole album), to the surprisingly brutal 'Claw of the Reaper', Hellish Crossfire unleash teutonic thrash attack after teutonic thrash attack. Not once does it all pause long enough for you to get your breath back. Production wise, the band sound fine, a bit tinny in places, but nothing that can't be expected from an underground thrash band such as Hellish Crossfire.

All in all, Hellish Crossfire's ĎSlaves of the Burning Pentagramí is an amazing album, that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in thrash. However, there are some negative aspects, otherwise I would have given this thing 10/10. Hardly a band to avoid admitting their influences, hell, they took their bloody band name from the first album of speed/thrashers Iron Angel. This album reeks of Sodom, Destruction and Deathrow, with a hint of more corpsepaint-inclined bands such as Nifelheim, and does sound rather unoriginal at times - as well as slightly plodding, albeit at a lightning-fast rate (if that a'int a fucking contradiction). But, to discount this, the music sounds like its coming directly from Hellish Crossfire's black steeled hearts, and that's what matters, isnít it? Here, Hellish Crossfire have proved that the thrash resurgence isn't just filled with Gary Holt and Tom Araya wanna-bes.

8Ĺ / 10