New Hell: Rhode Island Band Presents Grim Worldview on Self-Titled Debut

Photo: Marrow Deep Productions

As we come into 2024 the anxiety levels in America are at an all time high as we face down the barrel of what feels like the most tumultuous time in its history. With the coming election a lot of people feel like we’re at a turning point. Some folks see it as a do or die situation against good and evil while realists see that there’s really no good outcome, everyone on the ground loses no matter what.

If there’s one export Rhode Island knows how to deliver it’s existential dread and a pessimistic worldview. New Hell is one of those delivery men for such things having brought their mix of black metal and hardcore to the New England scene for a few years now.

They've dropped a handful of EPs and singles along the way. Their sound oozes that classic black metal despair and anguish expelled both by bassist/vocalist Brandon’s lyrics and the wall of guitar wails that trap you in their dark whirlwind.

Since forming in 2017 their sound has developed further. “A metal band with a lot of hardcore influences as opposed to a hardcore band with a lot of metal influences when we started,” Brandon stated previously. After dropping two singles leading up to their newly released self-titled debut album, "Age of Sin" and “Father,” the band worked through some kinks in 2023 while still playing and writing.

“We were dealing with lineup changes and a lot of personal issues in the middle of all of this and we actually ended up tossing out the first recording of the tracks for this, so it was a lot longer than originally intended but we are all really happy with how it turned out,” explained Brandon on the past year the band has experienced. 

The aforementioned turmoil did not hinder their sound, in fact it may have contributed to the menacing vibe that is felt throughout the album, as though you can almost feel them boiling over into the madness this world creates for us. Filled with heavy handed mosh riffs that can quickly turn into manic guitar wails as Brandon screams his diatribes against the capitalist nightmare we live in daily. Even the cover art displays New Hell’s vision of the near future.

New Hell present a fresh take on black metal as they don’t delve into fantasy worlds but rather look at the world around them and see nothing but a hellish landscape doomed to fail, hence the band and album name.

“It is increasingly hard to say what things we listen to might be influencing new material at this point. The lyrics are always inspired by what seems like the ending times that we live in. This time a lot of class war, the corrupt military industrial complex, and the fact faith based politics are actually devoid of the empathy they teach dominate them."

New Hell really found their sound when they debuted the track “Age of Sin,” which opens the album, finding the right mix of their caustic yet bashing sound as Brandon tore into the dogmas of religion and pointed out its hypocrisy throughout far and recent history. Every track that follows is a slow (but heavy) burner that instills a certain hopelessness and defeat in the listener, just how black metal should.

The beginning of “Controlled Burn” is one of the best examples of the band slow-cooking you over the pyre that rises in the wake of our destruction before it takes you on the blast beat-fueled death throes. The closer on the album, “Suffering,” feels like the final screams someone belts out as they are dragged to the depths of hell never to see the light again, Brandon’s final shrieks giving the album a true sense of finality. Ending one of the best walks through Armageddon.

As far as what New Hell has in store for the rest of the year Brandon stated, “We plan on writing and recording more to keep a steady stream of releases going. We're going to keep playing shows locally in the northeast and anywhere else that will have us.”

In terms of merchandise the band is looking to get the album pressed to vinyl and they just released a new longsleeve to coincide with the album release, perfect for the cold snap that’s invaded the country recently.

In the meantime, check back with New Hell on their website and social media. Their self-titled album is out now on all streaming platforms, perfect for the year that’s ahead of us. We got a long road ahead of us, be ready and have a soundtrack for it.


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