Label: Nuclear Blast Records
When I saw the band ‘Hell’ in my iPool account from Nuclear Blast and saw they were labeled as a Traditional Heavy Metal Band my interest was immediately raised. I love me some good old fashioned metal that strips away a lot of the fluff and extras a lot of metal bands add to their sound these days. So I downloaded Hell’s ‘Curse and Chapter’ and prepared myself for what I hoped would be a good ol’ rocking time. What I got was…not quite that.
Hell is a band that comes from the 80’s and had disbanded in 1987 only to reform in 2011. Admittedly I had never heard of the band before so I’m coming in fresh to ‘Curse and Chapter’ without any of their past work as a reference. So forgive me if I may seem ignorant.
What I notice first about Hell is that they are very aligned with the traditional metal sound. You have the guitar melodies and hooks typical of bands from the 80’s, think Iron Maiden. In fact they have an instrumental named ‘Deathsquad’ that is very Maiden-esque. So from a musical stand point Hell has all the ingredients to be putting out a very solid Neo-traditional metal album. So from a musical standpoint they have a very solid foundation.
The second thing that sticks out with Hell is their singer David Bower. Bower’s voice is part of what kind of takes me away from fully enjoying the album at times. And it’s not even that he is a bad singer really, though his vocals are what I would call unique. I would liken Bowers voice to a singer that really is very theatrical to the point of almost being over the top. It just seems to me that his voice doesn’t always compliment the music very well and borders on silly at times.
The other thing that took me away from enjoying the music is that many songs have some sort narration and sound effects playing in the beginning of many songs and I never felt they ever added anything to the songs other than boring me. I don’t like to be bored.
‘Curse and Chapter’ has some really good elements that should make a good metal album but for me nothing ever seemed to click with me like I had hoped. Others out there might really enjoy ‘Curse and Chapter’ especially if you like NWOBHM style of guitar harmonies and such but for me I was left in purgatory.
David Bower | Vocals
Kev Bower | Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Andy Sneap | Guitar
Tony Speakman | Bass
Tim Bowler | Drums