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HellAndBack - A Thousand Years

A Thousand Years
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 25 October 2021, 1:08 PM

North American Heavy Metal evolved drinking influences from the 70’s, but along Heavy Metal influences from BLACK SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST, names as RIOT and THE RODS were using precious melodies and a very good technical level (an inheritance of what BLUE ÖYSTER CULT left). These aspects are the solid foundations of what was done in the 80’s and is usual to hear on every Metal genre that is played by USA bands. But how’s good to hear a band as HELLANDBACK. Their first release, “A Thousand Years”, is a compendium of what US Metal is.

By US Metal, one must understand that it’s the usual label to name traditional Heavy Metal made in the USA: full of melodies and with a massive dose of aggressiveness, but always with a good technical insight (the reason for this aspect: JUDAS PRIEST is a huge and dominant influence for US Metal, like IRON MAIDEN is for Brazilian School). Heavy and solid as Hell, full of energy and melodies, and using some Progressive Rock influences, even playing nothing new at all, the quintet really sounds great! The production of “A Thousand Years” shows a fine result of the recording sessions, mixing and mastering: all sounds heavy and defined, clean and aggressive in the due parts, and without some vain try to fit on old models (a mistake committed by many bands in such Metal genre). They can do best in the future, but they really achieved a very good level on the sonority.

Be prepared to bang your head due their hooks, because the quintet isn’t kidding. And songs as “Atomic Ascending” (an abrasive and melodic weight comes from the instrumental, and the ‘halfordic’ vocals are very good in the contrasts between low tunes and falsetto screams), the climatic set of contrasts heard on “Egyptian Bride” (introspective moments and heavier parts pass by in an amazing form, with a great work on the guitars, especially during the solos) and on “Disobeying the Gods” (on this one, bass guitar and drums are really playing heavy), the melodic and introspective appeal of “A Thousand Years”, the heavy melodic weight shown on “The Last Day”, and the personal version for an old GRIM REAPER’s hymn, “See You in Hell” (this one was really a very good surprise, because only a few seems to know their work).

Yes, the quintet really did a very good work. But as they’re just beginning things with “A Thousand Years”, HELLANDBACK comes to keep the flag of US Metal flown high.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Atomic Ascending
2. Egyptian Bride
3. Disobeying the Gods
4. Soar
5. A Thousand Years
6. Scissors
7. The Last Day
8. Feed
9. See You in Hell
Chris Harn - Vocals
David Kirk - Guitars
Matt Schostek - Guitars
Chris Barwise - Bass
Robert Brandt - Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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