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Helldorado - Helldorado

by H.P. Buttcraft at 07 February 2014, 3:12 AM

HELLDORADO, a Groove Metal / Hard Rock band from Spokane, WA, is a band you can find on They play Southern flavored Heavy Metal, al’a PANTERA, with songs about inner struggles, drinking, hitting people and high-energy subjects like that. Throw in five hundred thousand guitar pinch harmonics with another five hundred thousand open-D tuned chug-a-chugs, your most stylish cowboy hats and some hardcore, tough guy chanting and you’ve got yourself HELLDORADO, a badass Metal band you can get irresponsibly inebriated to. By the way, if you like this music, you must be one tough dude so please don’t hurt me for this review, tough guy! My knees are giving out and my sight is failing.

This promo came to me with several typos on the track titles. I had to go to the band’s website to figure out that part of the track titles “Talk Shit” hadn’t been included. They also spelled the first track “Nasty Habits” with two B’s. Sure it comes off as sloppy but hey, it happens. I am pretty sure that spelling and grammar aren’t one of HELLDORADO’s priorities. Those priorities would probably fall somewhere the realms of fighting, fucking, rocking out and getting wasted. As it says on the tattoo etched onto the chest of the incomparable Punk Rock fatality and coprophagist G.G. Allin, “Live Fast, Die!” I know who G.G. Allin is because I am an old ass man. He died over twenty years ago and nobody even cares so let’s just move on, shall we?

I will say HELLDORADO makes some high-energy music you can easily lose yourself in it if you don’t take it seriously. “All Eyes On Me”, “Into the Black” and “Fade Away” are really rhythmically driven songs that add some playfulness that can awkward at first on first hear but become more addictive as it goes along.  The greatest strength of the band is the chemistry between the musicians in the band and how the other members feed off of one another. At times, they exhibit some impressive Thrash Metal chops on songs like “A.F.A” and you wish the band would head more in that direction. I could imagine HELLDORADO taking their sound towards something that’d be a mixture of EXODUS and DOWN with some flavors of THE SWORD thrown in if they wanted to.

Once you start to take the music seriously from an art critic’s perspective, one of the bigger issues that arises with HELLDORADO is the matter of their lyrics. Regardless of my old age, a lot of the songwriting is juvenile and I am specifically talking about the use of swear words in some of these songs. I remember a time where, as a performer, it was legally inadvisable to make music with swearing on it and any young, impressionable music fan could find this really edgy. Back in those days it was cool to hear the guy on the record say the words you wish you had the courage of saying out loud and you could feel so excited to listen to music that your parents would be horrified to discover you subjecting yourself to.

But nowadays, the words “shit” and phrases like “fuck you” do not work as lyrics anymore. Understand that people already say this and feel like this in real life so much that hearing “fuck you” in a song doesn’t register in your mind as a far stretch from the artist’s creative potential to express themselves. Unless you’re someone like Johnny Cash, saying “fuck you” is hardly groundbreaking to say as a musician. Is this the only way a songwriter can get across what you truly want to communicate or is this just lazy lyric writing? Listening to lyrics like those used in the chorus of the song “Talk Shit (Get Hit)” just seems as petty and predictable as its title. Don’t even get me started on what the implications that the lyrics of “Bitch Slap” give off! It’s lyrics like these that completely discredit any attempt to introduce sincere lyrics like in their ballad “Loves Like a Hurricane” without coming across as disingenuous.

HELLDORADO definitely earned some merits in the production department. The equipment and electrical prowess makes its presence very clear and it comes off sounding professional. Getting the drums miced right with the guitars the way they did on this album is nothing short of studio magic. You can find a lot of studio trickery thrown into some songs like “Into the Black” and “Murder Inc.” that really give them a signature sound. The mastering on this album reminds me of the slick, glamorous production values that were applied to the slew of West Coast Hair Metal bands that these guys more than likely grew up on. This album really sounds like there was a ton of hard work put into making this.

But even after acknowledging the professionals that worked on HELLDORADO’s debut album, every song on this album seems like it’s regurgitated from all of these Hard Rock, Alternative Rock and Groove Metal bands that have treaded this territory so much that at this point, music like this has become monotonous. It’s the kind of Heavy Metal that you would affiliate with sleazy and less-than-reputable people and places completely devoid of artistic taste. I could totally see this music being played at any strip club in the United States. Perhaps HELLDORADO may take that as a compliment and if so good for them.

Imagine HELLDORADO, reeling from yet another Jack Daniel’s-fuelled bender, hovering over a toilet in some stingy barroom lavatory blowing chunks into the bowl. This slurry of HELLYEAH!, PUDDLE OF MUDD, along with the oily residue of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY are seeping into each other in the dingy sewage. The lumps of MÖTLEY CRÜE germinate the waste and coagulate, forming into an orange foam of GODSMACK smegma. Now that you get the idea of what their music sounds like, you may wake up from your drunken bender in a hangover and have the regret of being a part of HELLDORADO’s world “Bitch Slap”s you straight in the face.

But no matter what criticisms I can throw at HELLDORADO, it really doesn’t matter much about what I think. No, I couldn’t bring myself to like this. Oh well! It’s very evident to me that there are currently thousands of people that love HELLDORADO and likely thousands more that haven’t heard them yet. Any of them may read this, go listen to them and completely disagree with all the criticisms I have made about HELLDORADO. And that’s 100% fine. And I am totally fine with you listening to HELLDORADO’s album far, far away from me because I’m an old man and I will call the police.

2 Star Rating

1. Nasty Habits
2. Bitch Slap
3. All Eyes on Me
4. Talk Shit (Get Hit)
5. Loves Like A Hurricane
6. A.F.A (Alcoholic Fueled Adrenaline)
7. Into the Black
8. Murder Inc.
9. Fade Away
10. Brass Knuckle Priest
Dave Bridges – Bass
Gabe Miller – Guitar
Dust Richardson – Vocals
Tommy Scherer – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 07 December 2022

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