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  HELLION
'Karma's A Bitch'
(Hear No Evil/Cherry Red)
Release Date: 6th October 2014


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



hellion

I never cease to be surprised how many bands from the past pop up and turn out to still be going or reforming. Absolutely everyone it seems is still out there and that includes US metal band Hellion.

Formed in 1982 (yes you read that right, thirty two years ago) they got noticed at the time partly for their straightforward, in your face Metal style and for the fact that they had a female singer in Ann Boleyn. This was a lot more unusual then that it is now and the fact that she was a badass Metal version of Joan Jett helped get some publicity.

However the quality of the material never quite lived up to the promise they showed and they became one of those bands seemingly forever mired in line up changes and legal wrangles. Fading from view after what I thought was one last go at making it with 2003s 'Will Not Go Quietly' album, that title has proved to be prophetic as here we go again!

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Ms Boleyn has put together a totally new line up of surprising quality including ex AC/DC drummer Simon Wright and bass player Greg Smith who's credits include playing with Rainbow and Ted Nugent. The first release from this latest incarnation of Hellion is this five track mini album.

Starting out with 'Betrayer' this features a quiet acoustic intro before inevitably going for the jugular in what in modern parlance would be called a power Metal style. Think of Judas Priest's faster songs and you'll get the idea. The band sound powerful and there are some nice melodic guitar parts while the vocals are the same raw, screaming style this particular rock goddess was known for back in the day.

The title track which is due to be released as a single is a more mid-paced grinding riff based song while 'Hell Has No Fury' has a galloping faintly Iron Maiden type feel to it. Both of these songs have a kind of fist punching chorus which you can see working in a live environment.

'Watch The City Burn' is an attempt to make something a bit more serious lyrically complete with sound effects and the vocals given a little more room to breathe and dominate the song although it retains that old school Metal groove which is their trademark.

'Rockin' To The End' brings the mini-album to a close and is obviously a statement of intent although it's more about rocking through an apocalypse than a record company lawsuit!

For me Hellion's problem has always been that they sounded good but ended up coming across as second division without material which could make them stand out from the pack. This is certainly the best line up they have ever had and there is a lot to enjoy here but I think they have ended up in the same place they started from.

There are simply other bands out there doing this kind of old school Metal better right now(Kobra And The Lotus would be a good example). 'Karma's A Bitch' is certainly worth a listen if you remember them of old but I don't think this will give them the step up in profile they sorely need. Maybe the upcoming US tour wlll change that.

Line Up:
Ann Boleyn - vocals
Simon Wright - drums
Scott Warren - keyboards
Maxxxwell Carlisle - lead guitar
Georg Dolivo - rhythm guitar and backing vocals
Greg Smith - bass

Online:
https://www.facebook.com/Hellion.Official
http://www.hellion.us/
https://www.youtube.com/user/BoleynOfficial


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6.10.14















 


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