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Hell - 'Human Remains' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/27/a0/57/1467_hellhumanremains_1311460368.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 23, 2011    
 
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Precision engineered, epic metal filled with barbed riffs and anguished vocals.

Somewhat prophetically scheduled for release on Friday 13th May (cue cold shivers up and down the spine), 'Human Remains' finally gets dragged spitting and snarling into the light of day after spending more than two decades cast down into the fiery depths!

As a kid growing up through the whole NWOBHM experience, Hell were something of a legend, their dramatic stage show (exploding bibles and all) and caustic riffs a rite of passage that had to be first endured, and then embraced. Although the band were formed in 1982 from the remnants of Paralex and Race Against Time, their talents went largely unrecognised by a press that just didn't seem to care, their career hamstrung even further in 1986 when their label Mausoleum went tits up just as the debut album was about to be unveiled. The final body blow came a year later when vocalist/guitarist Dave Halliday committed suicide – Hell were no more, but their legend would live on.

As an impressionable teenager, Andy Sneap (formerly of Sabbat and now one of the UK's top metal producers) was a regular fixture at Hell shows, so it's somewhat fitting that all these years later it's with his help that this album should finally see the light of day. Featuring three of the original band – Kev Bower (guitar/keys), Tony Speakman (bass) and drummer Tim Bowler – plus Sneap on guitars and new vocalist David Bower (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Halliday at times), 'Human Remains' cherry picks ten of the best loved Hell tracks from back in the day and delivers them in a wonderfully malevolent maelstrom of sound.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Sonically speaking this is absolutely stunning (although to be fair, so are most of Sneap's productions); crushingly heavy at times, melodramatic and atmospheric, yet unerringly crystal clear throughout. As for the songs, in some respects it's easy to see why whole sections of the media didn't get Hell at the time because this is much more sophisticated and thought provoking than virtually every other NWOBHM act you'll ever come into contact with. Perhaps the closest comparison that springs to mind right now is Danish act Mercyful Fate (although Hell are much more memorable (read melodic) and sophisticated, and thankfully they don't include those annoying King Diamond styled yelps!) mixed in with some early Savatage and Savage, plus a healthy dose of Canadian trailblazers Rush.

This album is already being hailed as a long lost classic in certain quarters, and once you immerse your senses in tracks like 'On Earth As It Is In Hell' (check out the video on YouTube), 'Blasphemy And The Master', 'Plague And Fyre', 'No Martyrs Cage' or the epic 'The Devil's Deadly Weapon' (and that's just for starters), you'll soon understand why. Precision engineered, epic metal filled with barbed riffs and anguished vocals ... 'Human Remains' is nothing short of brilliant!

Dave Cockett

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