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Review: Hell - Curse & Chapter
Curse & Chapter

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2013
Duration: 59:48
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: November 23, 2013
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.23/5 (84.55%) (22 Votes)

The NWOBHM's Hell travelled a rough road leading to their first full-length album, 2011's Human Remains. I won't rehash the story except to say I was of the camp that felt there was something fundamentally wrong with that album. To my ears, the vocals of David Bower clashed horribly with songs that were originally composed in the 80s. Moving forward to 2013 and we get Hell's sophomore album, Curse & Chapter and the story couldn't be a whole lot different. This album is full of fantastic Traditional Metal with some killer riffs and exceptional lead work, courtesy of Andy Sneap and Kev Bower. Almost all vestiges of their NWOBHM origins are gone, with the exception of some twin-guitar work, a la Iron Maiden, but is there a Traditional Metal band out there that you can't say that of? David Bower still has a voice that is all over the place, from a growling mid-range, similar to Accept's Mark Tornillo, to a high, Warrel Dane warble, but unlike Human Remains, his performance is much more focused and his vocal lines enhance the songs rather that stomp all over them. He uses his unique range much in the same way King Diamond does (thought they aren't all that similar in sound), creating different moods and emotions. The songwriting is tighter, more aggressive and much more suited to the band members' strengths on Curse & Chapter. Songs like "The Age of Nefarious," with its sly nod to the 70s pop group The Fifth Dimension, and "Darkhangel" have the sort of catchiness that has you eagerly waiting for them to come around each time you listen to the album. There are weak spots, like "Harbinger of Death," which has a dull chorus and bland riffs, but overall, Curse & Chapter maintains a high level of quality throughout.

If you blew off Hell after Human Remains, it is time to give them a second look because Curse & Chapter is just plain better in every way.

More about Hell...
Review: Human Remains (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Human Remains (reviewed by MetalMike)
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