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Holyhell - Holyhell (CD)

by Grigoris Chronis at 10 November 2009, 5:39 PM

For a name like HOLYHELL I'd except a more aggressive album, omitting the fact that the American quintet had already released the Apocalypse EP in 2007. Anyway, the female-fronted act strikes with their first proper full-length CD - via Joey De Maio's Magic Circle Music - since as said he was impressed by singer Maria Breon's talent and will to work hard for spreading her band's wings across the Metal world.
'Female-fronted' stands for 'NIGHTWISH', like it or not? Well, yes and no. HOLYHELL's basic attributes are the keyboard-driven melodies plus the wider astral air filling in for Maria's ethereal voice. But it's not only this, if we want to be honest. In regards to what the average listener may expect in prior, Holyhell sees a enough of the neoclassical myth of RAINBOW improvised to today's sonic needs - not only in enough leads but also in certain songpart layers - and this is possibly the contribution of guitar virtuoso Joe Stump (widely known in the six-string-obsession aficionados circles) who truly does a helluva work in both his rhythm and lead duties. Expressive yet to-the-point and certainly a master of his art, Joe is 'key' character in HOLYHELL.
Ex-MANOWAR drummer Rhino fills in the drums position providing the songs with an ample pounding while the bass lines fill in accordingly. If you listen to the album at once you may come up with the assumptions that the RHAPSODY OF FIRE link is not out of the question but in no case does HOLYHELL get trapped in galloping tempos and 'cinema' coatings with no meaning. The band is as 'down to earth' as you want to expect and the result is an album that…
…should definitely have a shorter duration - 70 minutes of this music is too much, I think - so as to unveil the songs' class in a more comfortable way. Add the unavoidable fact that HOLYHELL's Heavy/Power/Goth/Rock style is not something that (with countless relevant bands already around) will send shivers down your spine, except if you wake and sleep to the sounds of NIGHTWISH, RAINBOW, ASTRAL DOORS, Yngwie Malmsteen, DARK MOOR, RHAPSODY OF FIRE and (even) WITHIN TEMPTATION, and the result is not that difficult to be guessed. Holyhell is a good album from a band that won the first bet but surely needs to develop their own songwriting identity if aiming straight to the Top.

3 Star Rating

Wings Of Light
The Fall
Angel Of Darkness
Holy Water
Gates Of Hell
Last Vision
Maria Breon - Vocals
Joe Stump - Guitars
Francisco Palomo - Keyboards
Jay Rigney - Bass
Rhino - Drums
Record Label: Magic Circle Music


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