Hell – Curse and Chapter (Album Review)

For those who are unfamiliar with Hell, they started their quest in 1982 from the shores of England. The ’80s were not kind to Hell as many media outlets and record companies thought they were too extreme and different due to their makeup, pyrotechnics, lyrical content, and musical intelligence. Some outlets even stated that Hell was a band ahead of their time. Due to their Record Label going bankrupt before recording their debut album, they folded in 1987, and their original vocalist/guitarist committed suicide shortly after the breakup. Fortunately, Hell developed a cult following due to the underground tape trading in the 1980s.

In 2008 the original members of Hell reformed and were signed to Nuclear Blast, and recorded their first album in 2011 entitled “Human Remains” with new Vocalist Dave Bower. According to their website, their debut album was described as ‘one of the best things to come out in fifteen years by a European journal.
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2011 proved that Hell was only getting started, with a string of shows and festivals and many accolades, such as being voted 2011 Best Mainstage Performance at the Bloodstock Open Air Festival, and Sweden Rock Magazine’s 2011 Album of the Year. 2012 was another year of endless shows including opening for German Metallers, Accept.

In late 2013 they released their second album “Curse and Chapter” which has proven to be an album like no other. This album has a very progressive style ranging from many different genres, such as Thrash, Speed, Black, Power, and Symphonic. I particularly would like to call it “Hell Metal” as every song on this album is different to the other, and it almost seems like a theatrical album with the use of voiceovers and orchestral themes. The guitar work is very hard-driven, and the use of keyboards and sampling definitely gives it a very dark feel. This album has very complex tempo and key changes; listen to track four “Darkhangel” as a prime example as you do not know what to expect. But you will be banging your head nonetheless. Hell loves long introductions which really set the scene for their songs, some are heavy, some are orchestral but they are effective all the same. Some of the tracks on this album were written in the 1980s. Hell’s lyrical theme is dark, they mainly write about Mythical Fantasy, Horror, Religion, and The Apocalypse.
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Stand-out tracks on this album? Well, the whole album is a standout but the most memorable song are “The Age of Nefarious” a great track to start the album which will certainly get your fists pumping, one I mentioned before “Darkhangel” when you listen to it you will understand, for those bass lovers out there “Harbinger of Death” is definitely the one for you as the bass line is amazing, and two other standouts “End ov Days” and ” Something Wicked This Way Comes.”

Overall I am rating this album highly for any metal lover young or old, with amazing albums like this coming out it’s true that original metal is not dead and I am hoping that anyone reading this will enjoy this album as much as I have.

Hell: Facebook

Release Year: 2013
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Category: Album
Country: UK

Reviewed by Brent Logan