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Hell-Train - En Pie De Guerra

En Pie De Guerra
by Andrew Harvey at 08 October 2021, 2:46 AM

So these guys known as HELL-TRAIN who are all from Valencia, Spain are a thrash metal band with some potential. They were also described as “pure wax without frills, where Central European Thrash merges with punk, a certain element of blackened and all attitude of some MOTORHEAD passed back”. The band were a trio of musicians in the early 2000’s and have since split up in 2008. So this is just a reissue of their only release they had when they were active in the years of 2003 - 2008. The album titled EN PIE DE GUERRA was originally released in 2005 through the record label Dark Rail Records. This time around the band have reissued their only release independently and it covers themes of political or social issues, times of trouble and misery. No doubt themes that are more grim than they sound but when we look at their album more it does.

The album opens with “Hell Train” letting the guitar & drums go crazy with that thrash or perhaps psychedelic rock feel. This three minute intro is well done with startling vocals, revolving guitar hooks and kick ass drums with the right attitude. The rhythm and structure works in the band’s favour too. “Cuarto Mundo” works well with sustained guitar, steadier tempo and cutting edge tonal quality. This track, shorter than its predecessor, is a fine statement of the band in their comfort zone. “Amigos En El Infierno” follows along with a more upbeat rhythm & tempo but we can’t but acknowledge the loud yet awesome vocal lines. This track with a longer duration also demonstrates the band’s hunger for devastating thrash with hints of punk along the way. Even the middle is marked by a guitar solo that allows room for electric guitar but not before the reintroduction of full band in unison. Vocals projected into the abyss before the next track.

“En Pie De Guerra” is by far the longest track but does very well to keep the continuity going, especially the contrast of the vocal parts, unless overdubbed. The track is booming with clarity and intention to bring the listener in closer to hear all aspects of the band’s objective. Drums and guitar work closely to bring the hardcore elements into the fore with blackened thrash metal. The previous track gives a direction the next one which is “Al Este De La Nada” rumbling with bass maybe captured by drums and vocals working in conjunction with each other. The dynamics and musicality of the track is well produced, defined clearly. The growl and grunt of vocals is overpowering but seems to fit into the mix.

The instrumental section of the fifth track is very well played and gives the track extra bite we’re looking for. Ending on a high before the next track which is “La Llegada De La Herencia” starts with active rock guitar hooks progressing into more pounding rhythms and tones. The staggering momentum of guitar plays the main narrative of this track, electrifying too. The heavy thrash or psychedelic rock sound with the guitar is pretty consistent. “Rock And Roll Corrupción” pulsates with the wrath of thrash elements of guitar, vocals and drums in this shorter musical passage. The guitar solo work is very good and vocals are dominant till the very end. The final track is actually a cover of MOTORHEAD’S song titled “Orgasmatron”. In comparison to the original version I felt HELL-TRAIN did a good attempt at rejuvenating this song in their own style, it is admirable to see the band cover such a song by a well-known band.

The album overall is a good effort in defining the thrash sound in the early 20th century which is also combined with black metal or elements of punk too. It’s unfortunate that the band have split up now but I feel the band could have followed this album up with a more interesting sequel. I suppose we won’t know now but as they say never say never!

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Hell Train
3. Cuarto Mundo
4. Amigos En El Infierno
5. En Pie De Guerra
6. Al Este De La Nada
7. La Llegada De La Herencia
8. Rock And Roll Corrupción
9. Orgasmatron
Javier “Jako” Caballero - Vocals and Bass
Antonio “Toni” Cuno Gómez - Guitars
Pedro “El Gaitero” - Drums
Record Label: Dark Trail Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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