|Review: Helvetets Port - Exodus to Hell|
|Exodus to Hell|
Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: October 17, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Exodus to Hell
Rated 3.2/5 (64%) (10 Votes)
Here we have another band reaching back to the 80s for inspiration, Sweden's Helvetets Port, who offer up their debut, Exodus to Hell. And I wish they'd take it back. While it succeeds on a couple of levels, for the most part it is a grueling ordeal of uninspired song writing and dreadful singing.
Largely an homage to the NWOBHM sound and style, Exodus to Hell is chock full of light-weight Maiden-esque twin guitar riffs in a rather thin, minimalistic production. The resulting album does sound like it was recorded by a NWOBHM band back in 1982. The spot-on sound, however, cannot make up for the music. All the songs are very choppy and no band members' performance stands out. All except for vocalist/guitarist Witchfinder (really? Witchfinder??) His voice got under my skin right from the start of the album. Flat and out of sync are just some of the issues plaguing his performance. He rarely sounds as if he's on the same page as the rest of the band. Every now and then he lets out a high pitched screech akin to Tim Baker, but that only made me want to stop Exodus to Hell and reach for Cirith Ungol's One Foot in Hell. Mostly, he has a clean, mid-range voice that is just plain irritating. Lyrics are predictably cheesy even those sung in Swedish, like "Huvudlos Gestalt" or Djavulens Triangel," and I don't even understand a word (although I'm guessing "triangel" means "triangle.")
As I mentioned, there are some positives. Whether by design or lack of ability, or some lucky convergence of the two, Helvetets Port sound about as authentic early 80s NWOBHM as you could ask. I also give them an A for effort in capturing the youthful enthusiasm common to the bands of the era. But there are reasons why the vast majority of NWOBHM bands never made it past the odd independent release. Bad songs and bad singing are two that should send Helvetets Port back to the drawing board.
Includes three bonus tracks from the band's EP Metal Strike.
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