Hell, a band that have suffered from “out of interest” contracts, poor band opportunities and overall lame management have administered to pull it off in the field of metal subculture-so called- NWOBHM a subfield with great expectations and with numerous legends “stealing” the glory of most “newcomers”. It is rather difficult to produce blistering sounds and pop out from the mass when you are competing with “Iron Maiden”, “Angel Witch” “Saxon” and “Diamond Head”. What the band gives with this album is willingness and “spirit” combined with great music composition, quality, and heavy sounds. After a number of demos the band produced, the unfortunate loss of David Halliday (R.I.P 1987) who was the band’s milestone and with all the “pressure” the band had, the guys managed to stay on course, move on and release a full-length album with the reaching arm of long time fan and producer Andy Sneap (Sabbat) convincing them to reform with honorable results and with David Bower in lead vocals giving Hell “spirit” and the flame for a fresh start. Bower’s voice is peculiar and really interesting, singing like King Diamond with highs like Halford and with a sense of Warrel Dane tunes.
But enough with my murmuring let’s have a look on the album. “Human Remains” is the new album from occult heavy metal band Hell that come out on the (FRIDAY the 13th!) 13th of May via Nuclear Blast. The album’s artwork prepare us for a thrasy blast of tracks but let me tell you that is not what is going on really. Overall the tracks have a flavor of “old-school riffs and compact solos together with a sense of proggy elements and interesting compositional structures. The material was used as a production baseline from the band’s 1982 demos and 1983 single (“Save Us From Those Who Would Save Us”) therefore have in mind that this is not a fresh “new” album literally speaking. HELL borrows and holds the sheer of 80s flair of tracks like “Save Us From Those Who Would Save Us” however at the same time the production adds up in the final result a more modern sound combining the two with great success.
Dark and hellish lyrics (yes there is indeed an influence from 80’s) are apparent and majestically heavy riffs also pump up this “adrenaline” booster manifesto of sounds. Authentic, sinister vibes and clever spicy lyrics are also a fact in “Human Remains”. Progressive elements combined with powerful riffs and with a frontman that produces distinctive crowns/screams. HELL welcome’s us to hell, making it a pretty cool place to be. “Human Remains” has some amazing intros for the majority of the songs, preparing us-the listeners- to get into each track’s emotion and lyrics. “The Devils Deadly Weapon” is a track that stands out from the whole album or from the “mass” if you like, with great music diversity, epic and with tremendous synth sounds, I am pretty sure that will make all of you metalheads to headbang until your head blows off !! “On Earth as it is in Hell” is definitely an adrenaline turn on with great music quality, powerful riffs and energetic guitar solos. “The Oppressors” -adaptation of a Race Against Time song, one of my favs, beautifully presented, a heavy rocker sound with energetic epic guitar solos and with alternating rhythms. “Blasphemy and the Master” falls also to this category with a craft swaggering, bouncing, memorable main riff ( though I found it rather long to be honest in terms of track’s time – 8:10). “Plague and Fyre” defines “old-school” riffing with guitarist Kev Bower and Mr. Sneap presenting great virtuosity and synthetic music composition.
Hell have produced an exquisite album that sounds better and better every time you press the “play” button. Finely crafted songs played incredibly well with absolutely faultless production that underlines perfectly NWOBHM roots. Glorious riffs, exhilarating and memorable to the bone solos, soaring vocals and blood pumping rhythms are surely what stands out from this music “journey”. Definitely a definition of a heavy metal album. Guys welcome on board!
Standout tracks: ” The Devils Deadly Weapon “, ” The Oppressors”, “Let Battle Commence”, ” Blasphemy and the Master”.
|Track List||Line UP|
01. Overture: Themes from “Deathsquad”- instrumental
02. On Earth as it is in Hell
03. Plague and Fyre
04. The Oppressors (Race Against Time cover)
05. Blasphemy and the Master
06. Let Battle Commence
07. The Devil’s Deadly Weapon
08. The Quest
10. Save Us from Those Who Would Save Us
11. No Martyr’s Cage
|David Bower – Vocals
Andy Sneap – Guitars
Key Bower – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Tony Speakman – Bass
Tim Bowler – Drums