Gehenna‘s fourth album (and indeed their first since 1997’s Decibel Rebel) sees them pumping out some more good time blackened roll; think Motörhead with a kind of raspy black metal vocal. I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s apparent that Gehenna don’t take themselves too seriously with song titles such as Low on Cash, High on Speed, We Stole Your Song and the title track Too Loud to Live, Too Drunk to Die. Not that they don’t take their song-writing seriously; opener Still the Elite kicks off with stomping drum patterns and loose guitars. Bomber comes to mind. It’s straight down the line with no fucking about. It’s almost obnoxious in its ‘this is what I am, fuck you if you don’t like it’ approach. Again this attitude is reiterated in the next track Life Metal Must Die. It’s not intellectual; it’s primal – and there are no lyrics about deprived childhoods etc – it’s just in your face, high energy rock/roll/metal. Speed. Booze. The Grave. ‘That’s your lot’ say Gehenna but you can still die laughing.
The songs have the kind of lyrics and choruses that you yell out drunk at 2:00am and the soloing is desperate; it’s delivered with an almost insane devotion, and the use of phaser in Scumbag is a glorious touch. This isn’t an overly complicated album with widdly widdly solos. It’s an ugly pig in a dress but I love it nonetheless, because it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is – and there’s always a goodly amount of bass knocking about too (check out the intro to Unholy & Unpleasant). Dirty. Honest. Nice.
Too Loud to Live, Too Drunk to Die is out now on Metal Blade