By way of some cosmic miracle, only one Total Hell pops up when the band moniker is searched on Discogs. And that would be the band responsible for the five-song blast of heavy metal sounds at hand. Now active for about two years plus change and exported from the very metal and punk fertile New Orleans, Total Hell is DD Deth (aka Drew Owen—Sick Thoughts wheelman, Trampoline Team etc) on drums / vocals, Henry Hell (John Henry of Static Static, Heavy Lids) on bass / vocals, and guitarists Jason “Panzer” Craft (Persuaders, Tirefire) and Michael Maniac (Michael He-man of Trampoline Team).
If self-deprecation is beyond the listener’s processing skills, then please know that as self-described purveyors of the “New Wave of Shitty Heavy Metal”, Total Hell’s big-boy debut is not “shitty” in any manner whatsoever. These four recordings (“Desecrate”, “Clones From Hell”, “Violator”, and “Disfigured”) are melodic monstrosities that hit with a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling hugeness, while doing so in an economical manner. There will be no mistaking this for Broken Bones screeching out of an iPhone inside the vegan squat. On the flip, this is no Bob Rock joint. DD Deth elaborates: “Recorded on a Tascam 8-track cassette live at home (aka “The Parkway”) by Michael He-Man and the process was a nightmare. Original tape crapped out on us back in early 2020 so we had to redo the whole thing. Intros and interludes were done last minute by me with the cheapest midi keyboard on the net.” Well, color Goner Records impressed.
One might get momentarily lost in the cavernous drums that introduce opener “Desecrate”, but soon the buzzsaw-riff-wall will crush one into a smudge on the bathroom floor. Without rocking some safety goggles and diving headfirst down a terminology rabbithole, this is punk jumping into the sack with metal and leaving black boots on the bedroom floor rather than white hightops. Xmas came early for fans of Anti-Cimex, Celtic Frost, pre-shit Discharge, Motörhead, Blitz, Midnight, Venom, Broken Bones and...one gets the picture.