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Hobbs Angel Of Death - Heaven Bled Award winner

Hobbs Angel Of Death
Heaven Bled
by Jaime "Gonzo" Dunlap at 03 January 2017, 3:57 PM

After a long hiatus from the Metal scene that left more than one fan wondering if HOBB'S ANGEL OF DEATH ground-breaking sounds from the 90s were going to leave us teased - just wanting more like some blonde groupie who took off at intermission - we've been graced with "Heaven Bled".

Capturing a wide range of emotions, sounds, and flavuors across Metals' wide historical spectrum, this album does not disappoint those of us who have waited through the hiatus.  Old-school metalheads will hear reminders of KROKUS  in tracks like "Walk My Path" - with its smooth transitions from one tempo to another and the seamless movement from lead to vocal lead and back again - to the elements of newer stylings heard in tracks like "Sadistic Domination" and "Depopulation" (check out those growls and that lead-run arpeggio that would make SLAYER's Jeff Hanneman proud). There's something here for everyone… and long-time fans of Hobbs, Mrakic, Marshall and Stone won't be disappointed.  While some of us might miss the fluidity of Remy's work on "Inheritance", Mrakic doesn't just make up for it, he takes the gauntlet and runs with. Lead guitar? Try lead bass.

The atonal guitar work that Marshall sets up in the beginning of "Final Feast" is eerily reminiscent of something off of IRON MAIDEN's "Stranger In A Strange Land" album, and until Hobbs' vocals came in I honestly thought Dickinson was going to start singing about a land of ice and snow. It was haunting, evocative, it's placement in the narrative flow of the album makes for a lovely counterpoint for the other songs in throughout the album, thus giving a good mental hook to go back and hang the other songs on; a point of comparison.

Robin Stone's drum work throughout the album - particularly on "Suicide" and "Hypocrites" - drive the pieces forward, propel them, and the silences he includes within them serve as a lovely caesura that helps give the lyrics context; his change-ups in cymbal choice and accent patterns - especially noticeable by their absence in "Drawn and Quartered" - play off quite well to showcase both his stick work and the skill of his bandmates. His work on this album most certainly showcases his technical precision and skill; some very, very clean playing here. A lot of the more progressive drummers who just like to show off could do worse than to take a page from his copybook on this album.

Given it's sound values and originality, I’d definitely make sure it found its way into my collection; as I've said to more than one person, after listening to it for the course of this review, I want a copy to cruise to; something for those long trips down the freeway.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. II Mostro Di Firenze
  2. Walk My Path
  3. Final Feast
  4. Suicide
  5. Drawn & Quartered
  6. Heaven Bled
  7. Sadistic Domination
  8. Son Of God
  9. Depopulation
  10. T.F.M.F
  11. Hypocrites
  12. Abomination
Pete Hobbs - Guitar, Vocals
Simon Wizen - Guitar
Alessio Medici - Bass
Iago Bruchi - Drums
Record Label: Hell's Headbangers Records


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Edited 21 March 2023

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