HELLISH WAR - KEEP IT HELLISH (Pure Steel Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Founded in 1995, the Brazilian Metal band Hellish War put themselves on the map with a first demo called “The Sign” in 1996. The real work came along with the debut full length effort “Defender Of Metal” in 2001, Hellish War was forced to bring out the album at own costs hoping to be noted by a decent label. These guys are really good and play their way of Heavy/Power Metal pure as can be! It won’t be fair if they weren’t pick up by one or another record company sooner or later. Pure Steel Records, the specialists in Heavy Metal delivery saw that Hellish War deserved it to sign a contract and the band’s debut entitled “Defender Of Metal” (2001) and follow up “Heroes Of Tomorrow” (2008) were released through their label. Due to the good collaboration with Pure Steel Records, they sent us a promo to discuss both albums which we did with passion by the almighty grace of Heavy Metal music! Because of its pure Metal character, these outputs left us with amazement behind, definitely also because we heard a strong connection with our beloved style of music called US Power Metal. Bands like Cage, Vicious Rumors and even the mighty Helstar fame has been mentioned.
First two albums from Hellish War got our absolute approval and we were longing to hear more from this Brazilian killer band. Hellion Records released in 2010 Hellish War’s “Live In Germany” album to relive the band’s outstanding Metal attack as they were playing a very strong act that special day in Germany. This live album as precursor for a new full-length piece which will be released at the end of June 2013 through Pure Steel Records. May I present you to a fantastic effort where pure Heavy/Power Metal reigns supreme – better make notice of “Keep It Hellish”, next candidate for my own favourite top 20 album list at the end of the year!
While reading the info sheet before listening I see Hellish War added a new singer named Bil Martins to its ranks. Former frontman Roger Hammer really delivered the very goods to me so from where the decision he’s not involved with HW any longer, I don’t know. Will Bil do it as good as Roger did in the past, we’ll discover very soon…
The album opens in a speedy way with the title track, strong guitar riffs and uptempo drum sections immediately which bring the right feel of outstanding Traditional/Power Metal aking the a sound used to know from the 80s German Metal scene (Running Wild / Helloween/Gravestone). Good to see ‘shredguy’ in charge named Vulcano is still present to catch my attention with his top notch, very talented guitar skills. He is the bringer of balance within the core of Hellish War, that’s for sure. What about the new singer? Damn right, he’s the right guy on the right spot, great singer that sometimes does remind me of Jag Panzer’s frontman Henri ‘The Tyrant’ Concklin. ‘Reflects On The Blade’ is another great one reflecting the band’s outstanding Traditional Heavy/Power Metal feel and again, the new singer and the guitar works are fantastic!
More outstanding Metal shred guitar tactics are on its way with ‘Master Of Wreckage’, riffs in the vein of very first Helloween album. To make the shred guitar Metal performance even more attractive, I recommend to listen to the magnificent instrumental ‘Battle At Sea’. Build a number of this calibre requires knowledge, the musicianship ends on a real spectacle, Hellish War surprise me once again. By the grace of Epic Metal, ‘Phantom Ship’ loads all odds and to those into US Metal, ‘Scars (Underneath Your Skin)’ and ‘Darkness Ride’ will please you completely. Chopping guitars, loads of melodic parts, nice up-tempo rhythms/breaks and respectful vocal lines. Hellish War’s total package results in something adorable, US Metal influenced so the chance that you will hear me complaining is excluded.
“Keep It Hellish” does what many other crave for, making an outstanding Heavy/Power Metal album manufactured from the right material called solid steel. Although these guys have Brazilian roots, I recommend their new album to all fans of German styled 80s Metal and US Metal from the early 90’s. Order HERE. Hellish War check via: www.hellishwar.com.br / www.facebook.com/hellishwar
My Points: 91 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish