|Review: Hellion - Will Not Go Quietly|
|Will Not Go Quietly|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 22, 2003
Reviewed by: Iwarrior
for:Will Not Go Quietly
Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (3 Votes)
What we have here is the first album from Ann Boleyn and Hellion in over a decade. It has been so long, as a matter of fact, that upon hearing Will Not Go Quietly for the first time, one might think that this was a completely new band given that the music is so far removed from the work that Hellion did in the 80’s and early 90’s. Hellion’s music back then was a hybrid of British and Euro metal, a mixture of Rainbow, Deep Purple, and the Scorpions. On Will Not Go Quietly, we get what sounds like a cross between Nightwish and Strange Highways/Angry Machines-era Dio, with a singer that at times sounds like Grace Slick with schizophrenia. It sounds like a surefire winner, doesn’t it?
Well, not exactly. Over the past year, I have discovered Hellion’s music and have become fascinated with the life of the person whom the band is centered around, Ann Boleyn. The fact that she had been out of the scene for so long really had me rooting for her and longing for a record that I wouldn’t have to struggle to enjoy. I instead was left feeling let down since I had spent the night in what is a haunted mansion of an album and didn’t see anything scary come daybreak.
There are strong points to be found on Will Not Go Quietly. Mikey Davis’ modern production really clears the cobwebs and makes the record sound modern. The playing is competent, and the lyrics while often choppy, clumsy, and filled with too many cliches, address such timely issues as the indifference to violence, censorship, and even anti-semitism. Another thing that comes to the fore is Ann Boleyn’s anger, which boils over on my favorite track, "Dead And Gone" where she burns with the righteous rage of a mother lion. I also enjoyed the experimentation of "User 7" on which Boleyn delivers a breathless vocal over top a bluesy, jazzy shuffle that marks the band’s biggest departure.
However, the one thing that really deflates the record as a whole is the inconsistent songwriting. All of the tracks, even "Dead and Gone" to an extent, didn’t seem to be fully realized. For the most part, I found myself liking only parts of songs. For example the thrilling first 30 seconds of "Welcome(To My Humble Home)", the choruses of "The Last Straw", "Dream Deceiver", and "See You In Hell", and the driving riffery that signals the end of "Duchess Of Debauchery" point out that there was a classic comeback somewhere in here that was buried under uninspired riffs and keyboard trickery. There were times when I found myself rewriting the songs in my head and becoming frustrated that the songs weren’t as strong as they could have been.
Another thing that I dislike about Will Not Quietly is that its darkness, menace, and gravity often sound forced, as if its creators were trying too hard to gain respect in and fit into a more violent and hostile metallic world after a long absence.
Will Not Go Quietly was intended to be a solo album originally, a fact that becomes evident upon hearing the personal lyrics which in addition to being relevant, also deal with subjects such as lonliness and betrayal, making this listen akin to reading someone’s diary without their knowledge or consent.
In closing I am pulled towards this disc due to its bravery and bite yet at the same time pushed away by its lack of connectivity and its unfulfilled potential.
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