Rating:
8.0
HolyHell - HolyHell
26 June 2009


01. Wings Of Light
02. Prophecy
03. Revelations
04. Eclipse
05. The Fall
06. Angel Of Darkness
07. Holy Water
08. Mephisto
09. Gates Of Hell
10. Resurrection
11. Last Vision
12. Apocalypse
13. Armageddon


The best way to describe a symphonic power metal band like HolyHell is like this, pick up a Manowar song, preferably from post-2000 albums, add a shredder that can definitely delight your ears with an explosion of riffs and a very talented female vocalist, and you get a very appealing debut album.

I do not want to enter in too many details, just that HolyHell managed to release a beast of an album, which unfortunately is extremely underrated. The fact that this band sounds so much like Manowar is because it has a contract with Joey DeMaio's label, Magic Circle Music, and a former Manowar drummer has also been lending his skills to this band.

The question is, are there any points that make HolyHell different from Manowar? There are, but not too many. One cannot judge this album by originality, in fact, it is hard to find originality today in the power metal music, unless we venture into abstract, avant-garde artists where you need to listen to an album a dozen times to understand it and enjoy it. Maria Breon is one of the factors that sets a difference between the two acts. Her clean performance is very memorable, and as a mezzo-soprano she can easily outwit and compete with singers such as Simone Simmons and give them a run for their money. Her voice is powerful when it needs to be, mellow on specific song parts, more explicit, she is the female version of Eric Adams.

The second factor, Joe Stump, is another great addition and another selling point of this band. When it comes to shredders, the name that comes to our minds is Yngwie Malmsteen. However, Joe Stump proves that he can pull out a great performance on this record without taking the spotlight. Of course, when it comes to guitar solos, he has no obstacles in demonstrating that he is very talented.

The production of this album is remarkable and in the songwriting department, this album is also pretty solid. Though the songs aren't complex, they are pretty memorable, songs such as the slower "Angel of Darkness", "Eclipse" or "The Fall" where Maria Breon gives her best vocal performance or the more power driven tracks such as "Last Vision", "Gates of Hell" or "Holy Water" where Joe Stump takes the lead for the most part. The Godgory cover of the song "Ressurection" is also a nice addition to this album in which HolyHell manage to pull a great performance.

All in all, HolyHell did deliver quality material, but there is still room for improvement. Great performance, memorable tracks, a crazy shredder and an enchantress wielding the mic, these are the solid points of this band. However, being a shadow of Manowar is not a thing that will make their road to fame an easy one, at most, they are going to be a simple opening act. With time, this band might want to explore some unknown territories, but memorable materials like this album are always welcome.

Highlights: "Eclipse", "The Fall", "Angel of Darkness", "Gates of Hell", "Ressurection".

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 10


Band profile: HolyHell
Album: HolyHell


 


written by ManiacBlasphemer | 08.11.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Jeff

Rating:
4.0
Welcome everybody, thank you for being here and welcome to this marketing lesson. Today we will talk about an interesting case, the case of HolyHell which is a perfect way to represent the modern music industry. So let's talk about them and I hope that you'll understand that it can be easy to make money with a simple marketing plan.

Read more ››
published 15.11.2009 | Comments (27)



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Marcel Hubregtse - 09.11.2012 at 00:52  
Terrible band and I agree with Jeff's review of it.
ManiacBlasphemer - 09.11.2012 at 00:59  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 09.11.2012 at 00:52

Terrible band and I agree with Jeff's review of it.


Kinda shallow remark, but w.e.

I do not get why this band is so underrated. More than half of the songs are pretty memorable and a feast for the ears. The vocalist has a great voice and variation too and on top of it, a great shreder that shines the brightest but does not steal the spotlight. I find this album far better than what Manowar has been releasing since the 2000s, period.

Your opinion, I respect it, even if I don't agree with it.

I wanted to offer an alternative to the review posted a while ago, which in my opinion has been incredibly biased. I am not trying to make a name for this band, they have a lot to go around and they can improve, but seriously, even for a person like me that is deep into black metal, this album leaves some memorable moments.
Nemo Atkins - 14.04.2013 at 16:52  
While I do disagree with your review, I feel you make some very good points. Joe Stump and Maria Breon give good performances (I only don't say great because I feel they were capable of doing better and, compared to other symphonic metal bands, they don't really do anything that distinctive) and there are some good songs on this album, but the sad thing is that, to me, even these songs lack something that makes you want to re-listen to them once they are done. I think this album also suffers slightly from being too long: if it had been shorter, I'd be prepared to keep re-listening to it, but, as it is, I end up feeling bored by the time it is finished and, as such, usually can't be bothered to play it again. These guys do have potential (and I can tell that they started to show it much better on their most recent EP, which I've played far more than this album), but, on this album, they were a disappointment.

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