With influences varying from At The Drive-In, through Converge, Cursed, Poison the Well, Botch, to Radiohead, Boston-based band HELLHORSE offers more of everything that made their predecessors, revisiting some of the greatest concepts of the genre and turning them into fascinating, thrilling new shapes. The band’s new EP “Paradise Lost” a varied, multi-dimensional take on metal/hardcore fusion and marks one of the finest releases on California’s Creator-Destructor Records this year! Today, we’re giving it a nod, with a special track by track feature below!
Featuring ex-members of VYGR and Black Elm, HELLHORSE is a blistering five-piece vehicle of monumental heaviness. The band draws influence from early 2000s metalcore stylings of Botch, Converge, and Cave In, while infusing a raw and vicious d-beat/Cursed-esque approach to their particular brand of sonic thunder. / Creator-Destructor
The six-song Paradise Lost EP is HELLHORSE’s Creator-Destructor debut, and the follow-up to the band’s Old Dystopia EP, which the band self-released in 2018. The band went with Chris Smith for the album artwork and layout, who also handled the Old Dystopia art. / Earsplit
Paradise Lost was recorded in spring of 2019 at Labyrinth Audio in Peabody, Massachusetts, engineered by Kevin Gentile and Nick Twohig. Mixing duties were handled by Sonny DiPerri, and the album was mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering. / Artwork by: Chris Smith; HELLHORSE is: Brian O’Rourke: Guitar; Steve Scola: Guitar; Nick Angelo: Drums; Joey Feeley: Vocals; Matthew Healey: Bass. Catch them live on 11/21/10 at O’Brien’s in Allston, MA.
The Long Drought
The Long Drought is one of those songs that came together pretty quickly. The pieces just fell into place and made sense. To contrast how the last EP started, we wanted this one to be aggressive from the start. We felt this song set the stage for the rest of the EP. – Brian O’Rourke, Guitarist
Sets the tone for the record lyrically. The disasters that are a result of climate change. Rising sea levels, an increase in powerful storms, decrease in clean water and crops, and the migration of people as their homes become uninhabitable. – Joe Feeley, vocals
I really enjoy a lot of the old delta blues guitar stuff and wanted to find a way to incorporate it into our music. That was the idea behind the guitar in Undertow. Taking some of those influences and trying to create dissonance by bending some notes just a little too far. The opening riff is a little disjointed but not enough to fall out of time. I think it makes the following part more rewarding as it breaks into a more straight forward chord structure. There is even a little bit of a surf rock feel to the very end. – Brian
Sea level rise and pollution in the ocean are focused on. Mercury bioaccumulating in wildlife, sea level rise threatening communities near the ocean, and the abundance of plastic in the sea are all referenced. – Joe Feeley, vocals
This was the first song we wrote for Paradise Lost, just a couple months after releasing our first EP. We started expanding on some of what we thought were the best parts of that first EP on this song. Particularly for the guitars, using octaves as the roots and creating melody on the top 3 strings. We probably have our most melodic hardcore part to date in this song. – Brian
Looks at the people in power and corporations that attempt to discredit human activity having a link to climate change. Selling out the future of the planet for short term monetary gain is their nature. Sticking with the “Paradise Lost” theme, they’re the serpents in the garden feeding you lies. – Joe Feeley, vocals
From a writing standpoint I’ve never really liked the verse/chorus/verse/chorus format. I like the music to be more of a story that starts in one place and ends in another. Part of the fun to me is where will it go? But on this song that format just made sense.
Being a big fan of westerns and Ennio Morricone, I wanted to do something that sounded like it could be in that world. All the way from the guitar tones to adding trumpets. This song turned out to be a great collaboration within the band and with musicians outside of it as well(Aodán Collins – cello, Christian Conti – trumpet). It’s probably my favorite song on the record. – Brian
The planet is devastated and what’s left of humanity struggles to survive. Clean(ish) water has to be collected from the rain which feels like it comes once a year. The emotional, physical, and mental fatigue is heavy, and every day brings a fresh new hell. – Joe Feeley, vocals
From start to finish this song sets out to be aggressive and driving. With every song we were writing, we were thinking about it’s place on the record and how they would work with each other. We didn’t want to kill the pace or flow and keeping dynamic between songs was important. Too much in one direction could get boring and monotonous. The second half of the EP slows down a bit and Burning Eden acts as a counterbalance. – Brian
The planet’s done for. In the face of science we stood ignorant, until it was too late. Every life-giving function of the planet has been monetized and devastated. – Joe Feeley, vocals
This one came together just a few weeks before we went into the studio. The goal was to put together the 5 best songs we could, and anything else would be a bonus. Other than Perennial Downpour, the instruments don’t take a lot of time to breath throughout the record. On this song we decided to let things open up a bit more and resolve, especially towards the end. – Brian
This song is about the aftermath, far into the future, and long after life ended on Earth. There’s nothing left that’s recognizable on the planet. It orbits the sun, lifeless, like Mercury or Mars. – Joe Feeley, vocals
The artwork for this record and the last were done by Chris Smith(Grey Aria Design Studio). I think he has a detail and a way with using color that a lot of other artists working in this genre don’t have. We aren’t a band that’s making concept albums or have an over arching story throughout records, but artistically we want the first 3 EPs to exist in the same world. The setting for the cover was inspired by Deadvlei in Namibia. It looks very post apocalyptic but beautiful at the same time. It worked with a lot of what Joe says about climate change and the cover shows a society broken down as a result of it. The symbolism of a serpent has been in a lot of stories about the beginning and end of human beings. There are parts of the record that touch on the beginning and end of humanity so we thought it fit very well on the back of the record. – Brian