Review by Mohsen Fayyazi
Album: Curse & Chapter
Release Date: 2013
Label: Nuclear Blast
1. Gehennae Incendiis
2. The Age Of Nefarious
3. The Disposer Supreme
5. Harbinger Of Death
6. End Ov Days
8. Something Wicked This Way Comes
9. Faith Will Fall
10. Land Of The Living Dead
11. Deliver Us From Evil
12. A Vespertine Legacy
HELL is one of those bands who have been missed in the metal music industry for many long years! Obviously, in the age that record companies only cared about money, many talents would be easily ignored. But recently, with very useful help from the internet and social networks, some of those bands came back, HELL and ANVIL are two good examples of these groups. The British heavy metallers who chose a very unique name for their band, HELL, are active and getting much attention from the fans and critics now.
HELL released their timeless masterpiece album, “Human Remains” in 2011 and it was a huge success indeed. For many years I have believed that the golden age of metal, the ‘70s and ‘80s, are not repeatable and no band can reach those levels again, but HELL with “Human Remains” showed me that I was wrong. The album was perfect in all ways and that made mine and the fans’ expectations higher. With this background to live up to, the band have recently released their newest album, “Curse & Chapter” via their powerful record label Nuclear Blast. The album has twelve tracks and it was produced by Andy Sneap himself. The album also has an unusual style of naming for the songs.
“In a world devoid of divinity, only the human remains.” The album starts at the point where the previous album finished, again with an epic sounding intro with an orchestra, which has a horror style theme of music and noises in the background, such as sounds of burning wood and some people screaming. That was a good sign for me to expect another high quality metal album from HELL and honestly my heart started rocking harder. The second track is a power metal type one, as fast and powerful as the second track of “Human Remains,” ‘On Earth As It Is In Hell.’ The track is named ‘The Age Of Nefarious’ and it’s about 4 minutes of restless flames and steel. The band again used old school metal elements in a modern way and the result is great music. ‘The Disposer Supreme’ comes next and it shows the genius behind HELL’s heavy metal music writing. An arpeggio from Hell and an horrific voice who speaks “Bleeding eyes witness this evil extreme – the last Antichrist, the Disposer Supreme…” is the preamble for this track and then the true metal show begins.
Like the previous album, the signature of HELL’s music is David Bower’s voice. His skills and abilities to play with the music notes or switching from high pitch to low is absolutely amazing. In other words, he can do anything he wants with his voice. Music is more powerful than you think; in the old days, there was a musician and scientist in Iran (A.K.A. Persia) who used music for healing. Farabi healed several patients with his knowledge of music and medicine. Perhaps you feel it too, when a special piece of music makes you feel sad, happy or strange. From the first time of listening to ‘End Ov Days’ I found tears in my eyes at the 3:33 mark, when David starts screaming in a very unique style. I couldn’t even recognize what he is singing, but the music notes and his voice make me feel bloody strange. I can say that I found ‘Darkhangel’ and ‘End Ov Days’ the best work of David on this album and I am sure they will be your favourite tracks as well.
Amazing power metal and thrashy guitar riffs and adorable guitar solos are more great points of HELL’s music. In fact, every single track from them looks like a Heavy Metal Art Exhibition to me. The band gather a chest full of treasures, by collecting and mixing remarkable old school metal riffs and solos with the new ones, in which can only be described as the work of genius. Also, I should mention Andy’s great job on mixing, mastering and producing and Kev Bower‘s arrangement of the music on the album, every part and line are arranged perfectly and the result is that HELL’s heavy metal won’t make you tired, even after 666 times of listening, with or without rest!
HELL’s newest album, “Curse & Chapter” is one of the best records of 2013 for sure, an amazing collection of heavy metal. The band used to be more NWOBHM in this album, but in my opinion and according to their music and lyrics, their style now can be named as PMBHM (Postmodern British Heavy Metal). I enjoyed every second of listening to this album, but for me, the best track is ‘End Ov Days.’ If you did not buy the album yet, I suggest you do not waste any seconds.
If “Human Remains” was watching Infernus and hearing scary voices from the distance, “Curse & Chapter” is facing the gates of Hell.