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ROCKET REVIEW: HELL – “Curse And Chapter” (CD)


English heavy metal act HELL has released “Curse and Chapter” album in 2013 via Nuclear Blast, the follow up to their 2011 debut entitled “Human Remains”. The band had already established itself as a legend several decades before – having first spawned some influential 80’s demos and one EP that led to nothing more, unfortunately. Original vocalist Dave Halliday committed suicide back in 1987, and new theatrical vocalist David Bower is thankfully just what the band needed to keep it going. He is a wonderful stage performer and fantastic singer and screams powerfully to get things going on well crafted cuts “The Age of Nefarious”, “The Disposer Supreme”, which is my personal favorite because it sounds so damn demonic, along with “Darkhangel” and “Harbinger of Death”, following what sounds like a “Temple of Doom” inspired opener “Gehennae Incendiis”.

Bower’s voice (a mix of Geddy Lee and some little boy getting his balls kicked for the first time) hits glass shattering highs throughout each of the first few songs that need to be heard to be believed. The guitar soloing ain’t chopped liver neither. I love their use of a frenetic keyboard played by Kev Bower combined with the shredding lead axe work. The best part is the rhythm section of bassist Tony Speakman and Tim Bowler who hold down the framework of each orchestration like a vice grip with near machine like precision. The back story on the band gets more fascinating when you look at the guitarist, world renowned Producer Andy Sneap (Jesus, this cat is a legend all on his own), who was actually first taught how to play by the late Dave Halliday.

Up next is the hard charging “End Ov Days”, which rocks hard is complete with an awesome chorus, next followed by an instrumental song titled “Deathsquad”, and then the ass kicking “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, although it simply cannot live up to the great Nuclear Assault classic of the same name I am afraid, itself known for being one of the heaviest metal riffs ever written, let me say this… this song is a rocker. And the lyric “I am the fly that vomits acid on your weeping eyes” is one of the most brilliant things I have ever heard in all of my lifetime.

The album finishes strongly with positively sweeping and ambitious tracks “Faith Will Fall”, “Land of the Living Dead”, a cool bass-driven “Deliver Us from Evil”, and the slamming “A Vespertine Legacy”.

All in all, I am very impressed with the growth and direction that is going on with Hell band. It tells me the next album is going to potentially be something very special. So I would not only say buy this album and support this band when they play shows in your area – because the live show these dudes put on is without a doubt one of the most top notch around – but I would prepare for much more greatness from them in the studio capacity. Hell is one of the most important metal bands going today, and “Curse And Chapter” is all the proof one needs.


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HELL – “Curse And Chapter” (CD)

(Nuclear Blast/2013)

1 – Gehennae Incendiis
2 – The Age of Nefarious
3 – The Disposer Supreme
4 – Darkhangel
5 – Harbinger of Death
6 – End Ov Days
7 – Deathsquad
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