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Hellowed - The night of the reaper 3/5

Reviewed: 12-21-07


1. Welcome to hell
2. Time and again
3. All my dreams
4. Engines high
5. In the end
6. Endless night
7. The reaper
8. Judgement

No, not Helloween... it's Hellowed, a new traditional/heavy metal band from Germany! Their debut 'The night of the reaper' is fresh off the press and if you're into 80s metal, it's a CD you might really enjoy. Overall, the band has brought numerous bands to mind, including Stainless Steel, Madog, Twisted Tower Dire, Ilium, Battalion, Fates Prophecy, Destillery and Gods of Fire. There's also a hint of Hammerfall, Halor (especially vocally) and Deafening Silence, but simply labeling them standard traditional/heavy metal would certainly apply, as there isn't a tremendous amount of speed/power present.

A few things have stood out the most with the CD, and the first being the fairly raw sound of it, which fits the band's style and, as mentioned, will appeal to fans of 80s metal. The other thing that hit me immediately was the vocals Oliver Pitsch, who has a uniquely high-pitched voice that has an occasional and very slight snarl to it. Just like the production/sound of the CD, Oliver fits the band's style and he does a good job, truly recalling some of the earliest traditonal/heavy metal bands.

The CD starts out with a short intro "Welcome to hell", which is followed by the first real song, "Time and again", and this is where it's obvious right from the start that you're going to be listening to standard traditional/heavy metal. Track 3 "All my dreams" is easily the best song on the CD, as it's got the fastest pace and contains a very memorable chorus. The following track 4 "Engines high" is also fast, but after that, the remainder of the songs are mostly mid-paced; though they do have flashes of speed, feature some great guitar solos, and they're all quite good.

I'm not sure what to think of the quick-sketch cover artwork, but I will say it fits the band and I think that's most important; though it should be obvious that 'The night of the reaper' won't be for those who are into the polished sound of most of today's metal bands. This is a good start though, and if you still enjoy listening to the traditional/heavy metal sound of the 80s, you may really like this. As for Hellowed's future, I don't think originality is necessary, but the band has got to write even better songs (in line with the excellent "All my dreams") if they want to succeed at greatly impressing fans of the style. Still, while this CD was initially just okay, it's since grown on me and is an enjoyable listen.




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