Audio Assault HellBeast Review

Audio Assault HellBeast Review

The HellBeast is Audio Assault’s latest amp simulator and their heaviest to date. Does it live up to the evil name? Let’s find out.

Audio Assault Hellbeast

Fire up the Hellbeast and things look very familiar. It clearly takes inspiration from a certain Randall amp with a devilish name. The main amp head also contains girth and grind controls, just like the Randall, so before you play a note you have some kind of idea how it should sound.

Starting with the stomp section, you find a Screamer pedal. This is now a familiar setup in metal amp plugins because it’s so common to use a Tubescreamer in front of a metal amp to tighten up the tone.

Next up is the amp section. Girth and grind controls are joined by gain, bass, mid, treble, depth and presence. along with a Kill switch to bring in even more gain in the upper mids.

The cabinet section gives you a dual IR loader with a range of included IRs and the ability to load your own impulses. Not all plugins feature a dual IR loader so it’s nice to find one here. Being able to combine IRs can really improve the overall sound.

Lastly, we find the FX section. Included here are an EQ, chorus, delay and reverb, all put together in a virtual rack. It’s a neat solution and I think it’s more user-friendly than having different pedals.

We also get gate and output controls.

Audio Assault Hellbeast Review

In Use

Firstly, don’t expect clean tones from this plugin. It’s for one thing and one thing only, crushing modern metal tones.

Straight away, this is an awesome sounding metal amp. There are plenty of ways to adjust the sound but I found it’s more about fine-tuning rather than making huge tonal changes. The girth and grind controls are great for controlling the low and high-end distortion, especially useful for extended range instruments. Gain never goes down to what you could call clean but it does reduce to an overdriven level. Turn it up and there is more distortion than you could ever need.

The FX rack is simple but does the job well. Having a proper graphic EQ with LP and HP filters is always a useful feature to have. The other effects are perfect for creating a lead tone without having to add any extra plugins.

The biggest way to change the overall tone is through the dual IR loader in the cabinet section. Some of the included impulses sound great and being able to use your own opens up a huge range of options.

With the look and features of the plugin, it’s going to be compared to a certain couple of plugins by another company. Although I wouldn’t say it reaches those levels of depth and realism, it is around half the cost (even less at the current introductory price). It has a different tone when compared directly to those plugins anyway so it’s best not to compare them directly.

Riffs have a good amount of chug and the strong mid-range makes sure your tone cuts through nicely. It’s a strong and powerful sounding plugin which is perfectly suited to its target market. Lead tones sound fluid and the FX section really helps to liven things up. Overall, I really like this plugin and I can see it having a lot of fans.

Conclusion

There are so many metal guitar plugins available and the Hellbeast gives another good option for metal guitarists. It has its own unique voice and sounds pretty brutal in a mix. It’s easy to use and there are plenty of options available for tweaking the sound. The dual IR loader is a big bonus, especially on such an inexpensive plugin, as are the included effects. Audio Assault have given metal guitarists another great sounding amp plugin and at a price which makes it hard to ignore.

Rating 8.5/10

The Audio Assault Hellbeast is currently available from Audio Assault for the introductory price of $24.99 (regular price $44.99) – Please visit them HERE

Audio Assault Hellbeast Demo Video