Saturday 16 December 2023

Hebi Katana - III (Album Review)

Release Date: 13th December 2023. Record Label: Unforgiven Blood Records. Formats: CD/DD

III - Tracklisting

1.Hallelujah Anyway 04:21

2.The Debtor 04:27

3.Depressed Blues 03:41

4.No Sorrow 04:13

5.Pennsylvania Blood 04:08

6.The Hole 04:49

7.Darkest Priest 04:12

8.Lost 05:57


Nobu:Guitras, Vocals

Laven:Bass, Vocals

Goblin:Drums, Keyboard


Self proclaimed Samurai Doom Rockers Hebi Katana return with their third album simply titled III and it’s another glorious throwback to the days of The Obsessed, Saint Vitus and Trouble with a vintage Proto-Doom sound that is boosted by flashy moments of Heavy Stoner Rock grooves. The music is more precise here and is about as sharp as a Samurai’s sword itself. There’s a more reliance on inventive storytelling appearing within the band’s lyrics that allows III to be quite cinematic especially when the heavier subtle Doom Metal melodies appear.

Hebi Katana merges 1980’s Classic Heavy Metal Shredding Guitars with a vintage no frills 1970’s Doom Metal attitude with flashes of Psychedelic energy appearing on the fabulous opening songs of Hallelujah Anyway, The Debtor and Depressed Blues. Hebi Katana incorporate a seedy style of music that could be normally associated with their fellow Doomsters Church Of Misery though Hebi Katana play a more fast-paced and slightly aggressive style of music.

With a seedy FUZZ ROCK attitude coming into play and hearing Hebi Katana playing moments of down-tuned heaviness still allows the band to play an action-packed style of music that wanders around aimlessly between the 1970’s and 1980’s style of Doom Rock/Metal with a lot of modern day Guitars and Amplifier Feedback working surprisingly well with lead vocalist Nobu’s classic based vocals. Nobu delivers a more rebellious performance compared to Hebi Katana releases.

Hebi Katana adapts a more Punk Rock and Heavy Metal energy within the later stages of the album on tracks such as No Sorrow, Pennsylvania Blood, Darkest Priest and Lost. With an almost Speed Rock ethic being added to the mix, Hebi Katana deliver and play multiple styles of Doom Rock with fine amounts of STONER and FUZZED UP aggression. 

The sound of the album can be quite chaotic and hap-hazard in places but it’s all part of the charm with Hebi Katana delivering their strongest material and most definitely their catchiest and outrageous album yet where there’s RIFFS galore from start to finish.

Hebi Katana are a band who have true CULT APPEAL within the Doom/Stoner Metal underground scene and will no doubt grow their fanbase even further with a great album such as this. III is the real deal and Hebi Katana should be proud of themselves. 

Words by Steve Howe 


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