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Birds of Prey - The Hellpreacher
When it comes to this band, I feel completely retarded for not knowing about it until I saw this release on the received CDs list. This could either be a bad thing or I haven’t missed out on anything. The Hellpreacher is the third album from Birds of Prey,  American metal “super group” (as the promotion material says) featuring Erik Larson (Alabama Thunderpussy), Bo Leslie (The Last Van Zant), Summer Welch (Baroness), Ben Hogg (Beaten Back To Pure) and Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Discordance Axis). With such an amazing lineup of members that have nothing to prove, it’s time to take a real good look at this.
Looking at the members’ other bands, it’s no surprise you can expect a mixture between sludge, death metal and a slight hint of thrash metal. Or how the band likes to call it themselves “heavy, rocking old school death metal.” But let’s not keep this review on a too positive tone; The Hellpreacher is not a bad album, but not something you’d expect from a lineup like this. Maybe it’s because this is already the third album within the four years this band exists, but the outcome is a bit of a boring, uninspired album.
It’s clear the band can’t seem to find its own style, because throughout the 41 minutes of playtime I hear a lot from the full time projects of the band members and a big common shared interest in Entombed. The tracks all sound really different from each other though. From the pure thrash metal of 'Giving Up The Ghost' to the slow sludge of 'Juvie', the band knows how to make a varied mixture of styles, but overall it sounds more like a compilation album rather than an album by the band on its own. On the faster parts it gets a little more exciting, especially on the last track of the album 'Giving Up The Ghost', that could have been an excellent opening track for the album, to grab a little more attention. The slower parts is where it goes wrong as they take the flow out of the album and fail to sound as catchy as Baroness, or as heavy and deep as a band like Neurosis.
The Hellpreacher is definitely something I expected way more from. If it would have been from a new up and coming band, I would say it’s got some potential, but from members from established bands like these, you can better stick to their other projects.
Birds of Prey - The Hellpreacher
55/1001Details Relapse Records
Released on Thursday Jan 1st, 1970
Sludge/Death Metal

Writer @Brent_ on Monday May 4th, 2009

Tags: #Birds of Prey
Tracklisting 01. Mama (3:49)
02. Juvie (5:32)
03. As The Field Mice Play (1:16)
04. Alive Inside! (3:19)
05. Tempt the Disciples (3:51)
06. Taking On Our Winter Blood (2:13)
07. The Excavation (3:19)
08. Blind Faith (3:18)
09. False Prophet (3:48)
10. The Owl Closes In (1:58)
11. Warriors of Mud...The Hellfighters
12. Giving Up the Ghost (4:32)
Line up Erik Larson - Guitars
Bo Leslie - Guitars
Summer Welch - Bass
Ben Hogg - Vocals
Dave Witte - Drums