Barbatos 666 - "Hellstorm" Album 2008 [7.5/10]

Barbatos 666 played together for a while and their only recording is a CD-R independently released in 2008 in an unknown number of copies and without reissues, Hellstorm has become a collection item if we talk about Salvadoran metal. It is too short to consider it a full length, it is only 29 minutes, but it can be a demo or EP of acceptable duration like those seen in the '80s.

I must say that at first I was quite disappointed by a little convincing start as if there was a serious lack of musical skill, but the improvement is noticeable as the album progresses, it slowly begins to get more consistent and to show a better execution and structure in the songs. I can not help but to think that tracks 2 and 4 could have been merged into one, this would have resulted in a really well structured song, split as these tracks are, they have weaknesses that make them look as little more than fillers to add minutes. We can listen to good nineties-fashioned black metal sections and sometimes the band’s style seems to drift into death metal territories. Marbas has a good vocal performance in the classic black metal style and the rhythmic base of Centauros in the drums and Nightwing in the bass fill well the spaces that could be left in the lack of a second guitar, points for Def that knew how to build the necessary atmosphere.

"Kill the Nazarene" and "The Possession" are - in my opinion- the best tracks. Sure you heard something similar to these riffs from some other well known bands and songs, but the arrangement of tempos and pauses over a series of simple but well placed harmonic combinations makes these tracks worthy of an anthology.

Guitar solos appear several times throughout this album, this discredits the band’s claim of defining their music as black metal because it is something unusual and personally I don’t consider solos as necessary, as purist as it may sound, that’s my own point of view.  If this is supposed to be black metal is not to try to pose as a virtuoso, you do not have to be Louis Cachet to know that.

At the end we have a 1993 classic cover, "Rapture" by Morbid Angel, the guitarist, Def, takes care of the vocals in this track giving a complete turn towards a very well executed death metal.

Even with the little originality displayed in the song titles and the ups and downs we get from track 1 to 9, the album is interesting. Mandatory for any Salvadoran extreme metal collector and recommended for anyone interested in extreme metal.