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Ancillotti – Hell On Earth Award winner

Hell On Earth
by Rachel Montgomery at 02 June 2020, 5:52 PM

ANCILLOTTI is an Italian metal band releasing their third album “Hell On Earth”. The band, a family project consisting of two brothers and a son, has been around since 2014. Their third album is heavy, traditional metal with smatterings of speed, thrash, and New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM) thrown in. It’s a solid album throughout with a few distinctive qualities that make it stand out. Plus, the production is gold, ensuring listeners can hear every note and harmony clearly.

The intros to these songs can be impressive. The album opens right off the bat with “Fighting Man”, with ambiance from a boxing match, the roar of the crowd, and punching and yelling to fill the scene. The guitars come roaring in and don’t let up throughout the song. The guitar solo is long but is packed with impressive melody changes and sweeps to keep listeners interested. The beginning of “Revolution” is also excellent, with the instrumentals coming in like a train whistle. However, it’s the ambient openings of songs like “Firewind” and “Frankenstein” that make the album stand out and distinguishes it from just another traditional metal album. I love the narrative “Firewind” establishes; the song makes me think of the start of an epic video game. The chorus deserves special mention for juxtaposing the speeding riff with a soaring, clearer vocal melody. The singer’s voice is gravelly, which adds a layer of grit to this hard-hitting album. Here, when he softens his voice, it creates this great effect.

Also, despite the muddier, grittier effects, the production is clear, so every element of the song comes through. On each track, I can hear each piece individually and tell how it comes together. An excellent example is the guitar solo in “Blessed By Fire.” Each note shines through so the listener can enjoy the harmonies. However, there are duds. “Another World” is solid, but it doesn’t have enough finesse to stand out on its own. It sounds like every other traditional metal song. “Frankenstein” opens with a narrative that brings the album back. Establishing a dark circus theme, the thematic element really come alive in the chorus and the musical break. The album closes with “Til The End,” a thrashing, speeding song that is as intense as the opener.

Overall, the album is solid. It moves fast and keeps the listener energized throughout. I especially love how the band doesn’t fall into the trap of using older-sounding production. This keeps their music free from muddiness and over-saturation that plague other traditional metal albums. My one complaint is that while each of the songs have a different flavor, they can all sound the same.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Fighting Man
2. Revolution
3. Firewind
4. We Are Coming
5. Blessed By Fire
6. Broken Arrow
7. Another World
8. Frankenstein
9. Till The End
Daniele "Bud" Ancillotti – Vocals
Luciano "Ciano" Toscani – Guitars
Sandro "Bid" Ancillotti – Bass
Brian Ancillotti – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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Edited 31 March 2023

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