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Hell - Curse & Chapter

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD download
Released: 2013
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7/ 10

After much fanfare, the resurrected (and admittedly, obscure) NWOBHM outfit Hell (best known for theatrics and guitarist-turned-famed-producer Andy Sneap) return with a sophomore effort. Like the saying goes, “You have your whole life to write the debut and only a year or so for the all important follow-up.” Following a spoken word intro, ‘Age Of Nefarious’ plays on the well known 70s pop song from The Fifth Dimension, particularly the titular chorus. David Bower‘s near off-kilter falsetto is part of the charm. The music is more moderate and not as wild. Always ones for grandiose introductions, a brief symphonic swath cuts into ‘Darkhangel’, ‘Harbinger Of Death’ rides in on an aggressive guitar passage, while ‘End Ov Days’ begins and ends with ominous Middle Eastern rhythms/chants, before picking up, into a lively romp, with an orchestrated chorus that owes a debt to Blind Guardian. Believe it or not, ‘Death Squad’ has a progressive, keyboard section and cool dual guitar interplay. Who would have guessed, from that title? ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is already a live staple and ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ is a little comical, sing-songy in, ahem, delivery.


The ‘I Sing Myself Away’ finale closes things out acoustically. As far off base as Dickinson’s initial foray outside Iron Maiden (“Balls To Picasso”). Some might see this as an investigation of stepping away from Helloween, especially with their former singer, Michael Kiske, seemingly back in the rock arena, but like that Dickinson debut, it only proves Deris is best served remaining where he is. Beware.

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