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Hellraiser - Revenge of the Phoenix

Revenge of the Phoenix
by Matt Coe at 29 September 2014, 10:11 PM

You have to wonder about the dedication of one’s craft when the origins of this Italian Heavy Metal act, HELLRAISER, started in 2000 with guitarist Michele Brozzi and they are finally releasing their first full-length album 14 years later. Taking a few years to assemble the right lineup, the art of songwriting evolved from being a cover act tackling IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH, and DIO material to their own originals.

I’d say that the quintet gravitate towards a Traditional Metal style that has nuances of Thrash, Power, and Classic elements – the vocals of Cesare Capaccioni very high pitched and soaring, in league with Tony Moore of RIOT or Harry Conklin from JAG PANZER (check out the moody 8 minute “Way of the Brave” for all facets of his multi-octave screams and lower register during some of the verses). Guitar harmonies and tempos that have a galloping/ march feel seem to be the foundation to HELLRAISER’s sound. Drummer Rick Perugini and session bassist Riccardo Rogari, can really hit some up-tempo rhythmic heights on “Gates of Fate” that rival mid 80’s IRON MAIDEN, if put through a Bay Area Thrash filter – but there are times in this song where Cesare needs to take the shrieking down a few notches as it detracts from the instrumentation of the arrangement.

The infamous drum opening for ANTHRAX “Indians” comes up on “The Forge” – but the rest of the cut is more of a double bass power riff offering that has early DIO meets RIOT leanings. I can’t fault any of the musicianship on “Revenge of the Phoenix” – these guys know their Heavy Metal through and through, giving the listeners plenty of devils horns moments, especially in the 9 minute plus closer “Pillars of Life”, where Marco and Michele pile on fiery lead breaks and solid main riffs.

If given a chance to look at this 9-track album as a whole, I would say that this is a good to great final product – but some will think the vocals could use a bit more control. There is no doubt in Cesare’s leather lunged capacity, I just think he needs to be wise in where to go full force and when to lay a little bit back for sanity’s sake. A band to watch in the coming months and years.

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. In the Name
3. Nightmare
4. Way of the Brave
5. Gates of Fate
6. Revenge of the Phoenix
7. The Forge
8. Last Command
9. Pillars of Life
Cesare Capaccioni - Vocals
Marco Tanzi - Guitar
Michele Brozzi - Guitar
Riccardo Rogari - Bass (Session)
Rick Perugini  - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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