Hang The Bastard - 2009 to 2012
This is a 32 song, huge anthology of what I presume is going to be, in the future, generally perceived as the first age of Hang The Bastard, the talented bunch of hardcore cum metallers from the Big Smoke. Released to mark the end of an era and to sign on a new one with a new vocalist, the band have put together what looks like just about everything they could get together.
The good thing about Hang The Bastard is they aren't a band who really need quality control on their work, because they are nothing if not consistent. So here are all of their releases (the album Hellfire Reign and their EPs and splits tracks) along with a few extras towards the end - and unlike many of these kind of compilations - you don't struggle with the last tracks because they sound terrible and seem like a pointless addition.
Fans of the band may not find this a necessary purchase, but gems like Earthmover and Rivers Edgeare well worth a visit if this is new territory. With these tracks and a plethora of the others (let's be honest, everyone will have different favourites on here) HTB demonstrate a certain, swaggering assurance that allows them to play something memorable within a well-trodden genre. This is not throwaway metal – it is memorable hardcore with a well worked groove.
To best illustrate that this band are simply a cut above many of their peers, it's worth having a listen to The Year Is One 2012, a track buried a hour or so into this compilation. It starts with a nod to the old blues led metal that many of us grew up, hits the age of thrash soon after and ends with some lovely beatdown and dual guitar combination. What more could you want?