The Nuckelavee



Hellripper backstory

When Hellripper emerged from Aberdeen in 2015, the underground metal scene didn’t know what had hit it.

And by the time Coagulating Darkness hit two years later, the blend of thrash, speed metal, punk, black metal and general nastiness was honed to breathtaking perfection.

Since, then Hellripper – built, DIY-style, by James McBain – has become a go-to for fans of Midnight, Toxic Holocaust, Venom… and pretty much anyone into fast, exhilarating heavy metal.

McBain has been busy conjuring Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags, the follow-up album to 2020’s The Affair Of The Poisons, which has been inspired by the ‘darker side of Scottish history and folklore’.

And The Nuckelavee is fans’ first taste of Hellripper’s new opus.

In James McBain’s own words

“I wanted The Nuckelavee to be the first track released as it’s not only the album opener, but it is the song that I think best represents the overall sound and vibe of the record.

“It’s speed metal at its core but with a few twists. Lyrically, The Nuckelavee is based on the Orcadian tale of the eponymous creature – a grotesque and skinless horse-like demon that brings plague and death wherever it travels.”

The verdict on The Nuckelavee

Few artists can channel metal’s primal fury as well as Hellripper… and The Nuckelavee shows that McBain has a direct line to the genre’s source code.

Here, he weaves Swedish blackened DM around an adrenalized, speed metal onslaught that, like most of the Scot’s work, is utterly addictive. Hell, he even throws in some NWOBHM-style leads for good measure.

Yes, The Nuckelavee is more complex than Hellripper’s earlier efforts. But the Motörvenom that flowed through The Manifestation of Evil EP still courses through McBain’s veins.

What’s next for Hellripper?

Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags is set for a February 17 release via Peaceville, and McBain recently announced that Hellripper will be supporting US thrashers Warbringer on their April 2023 UK tour.

Hellripper will also be appearing at Dominion Festival in County Durham, which will take place from May 5-7, 2023.

Photo Credit – MM Photography.