Helltown - Lead to hell 4/5

Reviewed: 4-27-07





Tracklist:

1. Metal's pride
2. Run for action
3. Wanted
4. Breaking the time
5. Alone in the night
6. Helltown
7. Lead to hell
8. Flames of fate
9. Higher than you
10. Forever a rebel
11. In the heart of the storm
12. Reach the highest mountain


This is a strong debut of straightforward melodic metal that fans of the genre should really enjoy. And as a debut, you know what this means, I have no band history/back-story I can attempt to be clever with (and most likely bore you).

Anyway, this is straightforward, somewhat old-school classic heavy metal, not even so much within the more current power metal genres of Hammerfall and Edguy, but instead similar to the style of Pegazus' lastest CD 'The headless horseman', and quite at home with classic Hellion at their best, and Warlock circa 'Hellbound'. It has a strong similarity to Arida Vortex's Evil Sorcery in style, production, and attitude, and could also be seen as the type of the CD that would have fallen between Viper's a little-too-raw-debut, and their sophomore masterpiece. Fans of Ligeia's 'Gloria' will find this in a similar style, but with a bit more uptempo feel.

Singer Simone Syann does a strong, great job of well presented vocals that are nicely upfront in the mix, and which portray good strong writing in the choruses throughout. Her style is not unsurprising, akin to Ann Boleyn at her most metallic with a slightly less rough edge, and a slightly cleaner Jutta Weinhold. Guitarists Mikke Wildness and B. Holv do a nice job delivering plenty of tasty melodic leads in what we've come to term the "Maidenesque" sound, and bassist Freddy Daniels even provides some nicely engaging dynamic work that has a bit of the Maiden flair to it as well, while Derris Decker on drums provides a fine rhythm backing to the whole sound. The production is a bit more limited, as is expected, but is clean and clear enough to be pretty enjoyable.

For those really craving a band with a good metal vocalist, a solid instrumental band, and music that really centers on straightforward, melodic metal, more so than the ever-so-slightly-different genres of power or true metal that are more prevalent these days, this will be enjoyed.



CRAIG




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