Not many bands have the same sort of vision, drive or imagination as Hellions. Deconstructing hardcore, studying each fragment intently, then putting all the pieces back together in whatever way they feel, the Melbourne punks changed the game and rewrote what can and can’t be heavy music with their debut ‘Die Young’ and even more so on their sophomore effort ‘Indian Summer’ last year. Though that wasn’t even the peak of their potential. It always felt like they had something extra special hiding within them. Something so utterly brilliant that it will go down with the likes of ‘Damaged’, ‘Out Of Step’ and ‘The Things We Carry’ as albums that helped bring in the new age of hardcore. ‘Opera Oblivia’ may just be that record. Seriously.
From the moment opener ‘24’ pushes together sentimental visuals, pop like beats and snotty honesty to harmonically devastating effect and ‘Quality Of Life’ opens up the pit with grooving riffs and headbang-worthy beats, you know this is the real deal. It is a complete contrast in sound and style on the surface yet still one that makes perfect sense.
Hellions play by their own rules and do so with such reckless abandon that it verges on genius. Through music, they take you on a journey to every corner of your consciousness. They dip into everything in life that makes you who you are. They have pinpointed the very things that make us human and constructed them into a story that probes unrelentingly at love, loss, friendship, religion, growing up and everything that drives us to wake up in the morning. Each flamenco drum break, each punishing breakdown, each cry of pure anguish adds to the rich tapestry of an album that desolates as much as it inspires, and that’s quite the achievement.
Hellions have crafted an album for the ages with ‘Opera Oblivia’. A body of art that pushes the boundaries on all you know about aggressive music and provides you with a fresh and revitalised perspective. These are songs to be abused and analysed. Rehashed and ridiculed. These are songs that will stick with you for years to come and ones you will tell friends and family about till you take your last breath. If this is what the new age sounds like, then let the floodgates open.
‘Opera Oblivia’ by Hellions is out now on UNFD.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)