Metal Storm logo
Grim Reaper - See You In Hell review


104 users:
Band: Grim Reaper
Album: See You In Hell
Release date: 1984

01. See You In Hell
02. Dead On Arrival
03. Liar
04. Wrath Of The Ripper
05. Now Or Never
06. Run For Your Life
07. The Show Must Go On
08. All Hell Let Loose

The short version: the right album at the wrong time.

Had See You In Hell been released just a few years earlier when NWOBHM was in its ascendency, Grim Reaper would more than likely have seen their name listed next to other greats of the genre whenever the topic is mentioned. Alas, it is due to poor timing that this album has slipped many by, for if you ever decide to listen to See You In Hell you will know it wasn't for lack of quality that the album isn't regarded as a classic.

Grim Reaper's brand of NWOBHM is both heavy and catchy, easy to sing along to when you are headbanging to the awesome guitar work. Led by the powerful vocals of Steve Grimmett and visceral fret work of founding guitarist Nick Bowcott, the band release a banger of an album in See You In Hell. Hitting their stride on tracks like "All Hell Let Loose" and "Dead On Arrival", the band could easily hold their own against peers like Raven or Blitzkrieg. Fun yet heavy at the same time, it balances both even in the face of bands who focus on one or the other.

The production may be embryonic, but it adds to the charm on this album, a diamond in the rough. It isn't that much different to many of their luminaries on their debuts: lo-fi, but still the power of the material shines through regardless of any shortcomings in the production. The only issue that I will mention in short here is that the drums should have been pushed to the back of the mix more (more on that later).

The band have talent in spades; Grimmett can hit high notes with conviction like on the title track, and effuse power even when changing approach like on the quickfire verses of "Liar". Bowcott is probably one of the better guitarists in the genre; check out "Wrath Of The Reaper" to find out why. Wanklin's bass is much better than his name suggests, holding down the low end while not finding itself welded to either guitar or bass; it's just a shame it is stuck in the background for much of the album.

Where does the album fall flat? The drumming on this album is dire. With all due respect to Harris, but he sounds like an amateur behind the kit and given the mix of the album isn't protected so much as pushed into the spotlight. Probably the most glaring example of this is "Run For Your Life"; he keeps much of the same beat for the song (though does throw in some fills) but as the song tries to end on a manic note, he continues at the same speed as before and it is jarring to the ears.

If you consider yourself a fan of NWOBHM or want a place to get started, See You In Hell should be high on the list of places to start, a concise and powerful example of what the genre could offer. Grim Reaper did not get the due they deserved but at least this album can go down as one of the brightest moments in the short-lived genre.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by omne metallum | 01.05.2020

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


Comments: 3   Visited by: 19 users
01.05.2020 - 13:39
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
This is good, better as those 2 you mentioned, sad band vanished. But msny nwobhm did same, came beck in i net era.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
14.05.2020 - 06:21
Lord Slothrop

Whenever I hear this band's name I flash to that video where Grimmett is decked out in red, singing his heart out and looking way too much like Meat Loaf. Brings back good memories.
25.05.2020 - 11:46
omne metallum

Written by Lord Slothrop on 14.05.2020 at 06:21

Whenever I hear this band's name I flash to that video where Grimmett is decked out in red, singing his heart out and looking way too much like Meat Loaf. Brings back good memories.

It's not from this album but check out their video for "Fear No Evil" if you haven't yet, it's hilarious.
Just because I'm not listening doesn't mean I don't care

Hits total: 734 | This month: 12