I’m sure the guys in HELLSPAWN are pleased as peaches with “The Great Red Dragon”, and their friends and family members will no doubt high-five them on the racket they’ve cooked up on here, but for the more discerning Death Metal fan this album will hold little to no value. In 2012 this kind unimaginative by-the-numbers Death Metal simply doesn’t cut it.
Playing a very traditional and rigid type of Death Metal, these Poles present nothing in the way of creativity as they slavishly adhere to genre conventions throughout this whole affair. Sure, it’s heavy and (relatively) tight, but not a single riff or melody is of the “wow!” variety. The album ends of on a stellar note, though, as the three song combo of “Revelation Of The Red Dragon”, “The Dice Are Cast”, and “The Greatest King Among Demon” (sic) actually manages to kick up quite a storm, with crunchy riffing giving way to well-placed groove sections, and a steady drum barrage. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but at least these songs provide a brief period of total mosh-worthiness. The title track with its eerie shifting melodies and slightly atonal riff patterns is also one of the better offerings on here.
HELLSPAWN definitely has potential but much of this remains unfulfilled on “The Great Red Dragon”. Reviewing albums like this is also a pain in the arse because – let’s face it – there are only so many ways one can say “this sucks”.
Conclusion: 10 Songs in total. Three good songs. One OK song. Six horrendously boring songs. Not good, in other words.
(Online June 9, 2012)