I’ve said it before, and, my boorish nature being what it is, I’ll doubtless say it again, I can’t get the hang of the ‘duo’ format in heavy metal. Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Alice Springs death-dealing apparatus Hell Machine

This duo – Dave Hellrazor (bass and vocals) and Mal Machine (drums and vocals) – actually do enough to transcend what I consider to be the limitations of the two man format on Relentless Aggression. The pair know enough – and have the chops to back up that knowledge – about the black/thrash/death arena to craft a pretty winning noise; Keeping things concise – only God Is Nowhere stretches beyond the five minute mark – Hellrazor and Machine move things along nicely through a variety of brutal soundscapes with ease and precision.

Once you’ve pressed play, personal choice will dictate your favourites out of the eight tracks on offer. Me? I love the breakneck Teutonisms of closing track Hammer of Hate, wherein the boys fuse the primitive joy de vivre of fellow Aussies Hobbs Angel of Death to the efficient killing power of Kreator with impressive results, but tomorrow that choice might be different with opening track Devil Spawn and the primitive bestiality of Lowlife also standing out as nice examples of the band’s extreme art.

Nothing new then, but what Hell Machine do they imbue with enough fire and skill to make Relentless Aggression a genuinely exciting listening experience. Well worth a listen.

Relentless Aggression is out now