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Hellion - To Hellion And Back

To Hellion And Back
by Katarzyna Zakolska at 31 March 2014, 1:44 AM

HELLION is a female fronted Heavy Metal band from Los Angeles dating back to 1982. 2-disc anthology titled “To Hellion And Back” was just released. The anthology features a collection of fan-favourites, rare recordings, previously unreleased tracks, and also two songs that were produced by Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) at the legendary Sound City recording studio. HELLION’s new tracks were produced by legendary British studio icon Ken Scott. This will be a journey - from the beginning, back in 1982, through the evolution of their music right into the newer material. As expected, nearly the entire album is comprised of the old school feel. The fantastic line up consists of the legendary vocalist Ann Boleyn, drummer Simon Wright (ex-AC/DC, ex-QUEENSRŸCHE, ex-DIO, DIO’S DISCIPLES), keyboardist Scott Warren (ex-DIO, ex-HEAVEN & HELL), bassist Bjorn Englen (ex-Ynqwie Malmsteen, DIO’S DISCIPLES) and lead guitarist Maxxxwell Carlisle, provided a big plus to the music of the band.

On the first disc, HELLION feature tracks from the 1983 self-titled EP and the 1984 demo produced by Dio. Opener “Backstabber” is pure Heavy Metal, a true journey through the melodic signatures of the 80’s, along with Boleyn’s soaring raspy tones, in the manner of Doro Pesch. “Break The Spell” has that little SCORPIONS mannerism similar to their “Blackout” hit, especially in the front end of the vocals while IRON MAIDEN style riffs are evident throughout “Up From The Depths” sharing the valor with a touch of MANOWAR and Germanic DORO inclinations. Possibly the best, and quite well known, song of HELLION is “Run For Your Life”, a nail biter filled with melodic Heavy / Speed Metal riffs causing a rapid heartbeat. This is an historical and very memorable track showing the band’s foremost achievement. I would also recommend to follow: “Witching Hour” with interesting riffs in the vein of BLACK SABBATH and “Tower Of Air” where I virtually listened to a female version of IRON MAIDEN.

The second disc features songs from the EP “Postcards From The Asylum” and from the album “The Black Book” of 1990 and a totally new track. The fast pacer “Nevermore” delivers thrashing drums while “Exciter” discharges ounces of power. “The Evil One” might be soothing but with whole loads of evil from within, kind of DIO oriented. Nice melodic riffs and powerful sounds with fantastic singing are in the streets of the piercer “The Black Book”. The best track this particular disc is the melodic “Stormrider” that is introduced by an acoustic guitar verse and then coming alive with crispy old school / classic Heavy Metal connecting with might vocals, a profound mix of BLACK SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST similarity in sounds. “Demon Attack” revealing yet tuneful guitaring along with the DIO infested “Dead and Gone” and the Glamish fevered “Shit (Is Gonna Hit The Fan)”. The first new HELLION song for over a decade was entitled "Hell Has No Fury”, a decent Heavy Metal, well written and played, catchy guitars, feeling the classic influences still hard to the core, amazing guitar solo and groovy rhythm section.

“To Hellion And Back” is highly recommend to listening for all Heavy Metal fans. Die harders will cry for this one to be a part of their collection, I believe that it is essential to have.

4 Star Rating

Disc One
1. Backstabber
2. Driving Hard
3. Don’t Take No For An Answer
4. Break The Spell
5. Up From The Depths
6. Run For Your Life
7. Get Ready
8. Witching Hour
9. Screams In The Night
10. Upside Down Guitar Solo
11. The Hand
12. Bad Attitude
13. Tower Of Air

Disc Two
1. Nevermore
2. Exciter
3. The Evil One
4. Breakdown
5. The Black Book
6. Living In Hell
7. Stormrider
8. Demon Attack
9. Resurrection/Will Not Go Quietly
10. Shit (Is Gonna Hit The Fan)
11. Dead and Gone
12. Dream Deceiver
13. Hell Has No Fury
Ann Boleyn – Vocals
Simon Wright - Drums
Scott Warren - Keyboards
Bjorn Englenn - Bass
Maxxxwell Carlisle – Lead Guitar
Record Label: New Renaissance Records


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