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Review: Highlord - Freakin' Out of Hell
Freakin' Out of Hell

Label: Rockshots Records
Year released: 2022
Duration: 51:00
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: January 22, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (5 Votes)

Italy's Highlord has been around nearly 25 years and Freakin' Out of Hell is their ninth studio effort. Let me get it out of the way now, that's a silly album title. I'm probably missing something, but it simply makes no sense to me. Freakin' Out IN Hell? Still silly but makes more sense. Whatever, the music is what's important, so I'll get on with it. Highlord have some of the symphonic aspirations many Italian bands strive for, with high singing and lots of keys, but in both instances they are really off the mark. The keyboard lines are dull and emotionless most of the time, providing little more than a monotone background that is as colorless as a blank canvas. When they do get a little more intricate and try to grab your attention, they remain underwhelming and uninspired. The singer is fine, if a little dry in his delivery, but his lines range from OK on most of the songs to actively annoying on cuts like "The Devil's Doorbell," where I think he's trying to cut across the melody and create some counterpoint but sounds more like he's singing lines perhaps intended for a different song (to say nothing of the times where he's trying to force too many words into too few bars of music). There's more of a crunch to Highlord's music than anything neoclassical, but the frequent pinches on the guitar get old fast (see "Sweet Unknown"). I've been following power metal for a long time and Highlord has always been a second-tier band at their best. Freakin' Out of Hell confirms their status as an also-ran in a crowded field.

More about Highlord...
Review: Breath Of Eternity (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Heir of Power (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Hic Sunt Leones (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Medusa's Coil (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: When the Aurora Falls... (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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