The Talas of Satan

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Dhamar
02. Ramahd
03. Release The Crackhead
04. Pentamère
05. Kalakaka
06. Rupack
07. COI
08. KRR
10. Coq au vin
11. Chautal

Such chic wordplay to parlay a fart in moniker. While hardly as outrageous a name as ANAL CUNT, French genre splicers HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN are a cacophonous case of WTF?

Smashing ATARI TEENAGE RIOT, REFUSED, FANTOMAS, "Bollywood" (as in metalled-up Indian folk music),grind, and black metal (got all that?) into a 22-minute senses rape, HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN will amaze the most discriminating and left-of-center crunk freak and offbeat metal hunter. Delved in such squat and hurried dosages, HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN's third album, "The Talas of Satan", will prove more than a bit much for trad metalheads, though it will easily bait and satiate the more adventurous listener.

There's so much going on in "The Talas of Satan" between the bookended tablas and hand percussion featured on "Dhamar" and "Chautal" that it will take multiple listens to dig up the numerous layers Martyn Clement and Sacha Valony (now joined by new bassist Jonathan Marole and drummer Damien Salis for their live performances) cram for discovery. Assuming you dare, of course. By the time Clement drives the whumping guitars into Sacha Valony's quixotic flutes and the backing percussion on "Dhamar", expect things to get rowdy in a hurry.

"Ramahd" clouts with hammering riffs, and then it's turned upside down with dizzying electro tailspins and scratches. Before you think the hilariously-titled "Release the Crackhead" is opting for a reggae splash with its opening clang roll, HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN quickly throws the track into a hip hop pimp roll. Then they dump blazing black metal magma all over the damned thing, gradually merging the two together in an unholy alliance that actually works.

Before you can recover from that brain-chewing madness, the guys tinker with electronic bleeps straight out of Mario Land Nintendo on "Pantamere" that unexpectedly morphs into a beauteous synthetic Japanese whisper. Considering the creators of those goofy Mario games have likely downed magic mushrooms of their own over the years, HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN become kindred spirits accordingly. Right afterwards, the gas pedal is crushed to the floor on the cranked-up "Kalakaka", where Martyn Clement dishes flailing scales amidst the skidding crunk and electro scrapes. Once again thrusting their listeners into a ripping fast video game hell on "Rupack", the sheer exhaustion of it all would be enough to call it a day at this point.

So the insanity continues throughout "The Talas of Satan". There's so much to explore in little more than twenty minutes it's best to leave interpretations to the receivers of this gonzo enterprise. For those in search of something different, something that genuinely pushes the envelope, here's your hidey hole. HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN will either scare or tantalize you with their outlandish laser bombs, but they have the intelligence and the wherewithal to push something so bonkers upon the metal underground they're likely to be rewarded for it. Why not? Mike Patton's made a career at it.

Author: Ray Van Horn, Jr.
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