Some years ago, you changed the name from Forgery. Was this because of the Norwegian thrash band with the same name? Were you (like me) a little surprised that a cool name like HELLBRINGER wasn’t already taken as well?
– That’s right. We changed because of that band just before the release of our EP through Iron Pegasus to avoid confusion. HELLBRINGER is a better name anyway I think! I guess we weren’t too surprised at the time that it wasn’t taken really but now that I think back on it we were pretty lucky, says drummer Josh Bennett.
How would you compare the new album to your first release? Which aspect has improved most? Musical skills, songwriting or production?
– Definitely the song writing and musical skills. Most of the tracks that were on our first release were the first songs we ever wrote and were written quite some time before it was even released. The structures and song writing is much more solid on the album and we got much better at our instruments. The album also has our new guitarist, James who is a lot better than the old guy.
You are performing a kind of blackened thrash metal which I often find a bit similar sounding from band to band. Where in your compositions can the listener spot HELLBRINGER’s own identity?
– I suppose there are always going to be similarities with this sort of music we play as it is hard to be totally original these days.
With that being said though, we do try to add in our own sound. There is nothing specific as such, but we do.
If I am correct, you have worked with Harris Johns on both your releases. What is it about his work that you like? Are there any of his past productions that you really enjoy?
– Well Harris only mastered the EP but he did everything on the album. We got him because we love his 80s work with Sodom, Kreator etc and wanted the 80s thrash sound which I think he achieved on the album. My favourite past productions that he did off the top of my head are probably Sodom’s “Persecution Mania” and Kreator’s “Pleasure to Kill”.
There are some other good Australian bands performing music that is quite similar to HELLBRINGER’s. Is it some kind of healthy competition between you and other thrash metal-acts, or do you do your own thing with no thought of what other bands are doing?
– I wouldn’t say bands compete against each other here. A lot of the bands in the underground scene here all know each other and are good friends who generally all like each other’s music. As for more “straight up” thrash like us there’s a very limited amount of bands who do it here so there wouldn’t really be many bands to “compete” with anyway. There are many bands here who claim to play thrash but it’s really complete garbage.
For every new release, there is always some material available on the internet for people to check out. Which song do you recommend those who haven’t heard Hellbringer before to start with? Why?
“Sermon Of Death” because I think it’s one of our best songs. It has some good songwriting and riffs I believe.