Classic Rock Bottom

 

I was thinking about this week's post and how I was going to do a monthly post of something I found that I either read about, thought the band name was cool or even that the album cover was wicked cool.

Then it dawned on me that's what I do anyway with almost every album so it wouldn't be much different than usual. There's a theme I'm trying to get at, but I'm damned if I know what it is.

This is one of "those" albums. To be totally honest, if I had seen this at a store, I would have thought it was a white-boy rap group, or some cheap-ass punkish boy band. This would have passed me by, no doubt about that.

I harp on this quite a bit, but Martin Popoff's series of "Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal" is a must buy for those that like a good read and also to find some hidden gems you would never have thought of buying, much less heard of. 

Done this before, will do it again. Here's the lead sentence for his review of this album, which came out in 2003:

"Unfortunately, the awful cover art, band name and album name might hobble this one."

See? He hit the nail straight on the head with that one. Be honest, if you had seen this album at a store, would you have even given it a second look?

Sentence #2:

"But man oh man "The Hellbum" is an incredible surprise, a blinding hair-metal type album at the heavy, headbanging down-tunes end of the genre...."

But wait, there's more:

"The title refers to the crap the band went through dealing with Shark and an uncommunicative Z records." 

Finally, to pique your interest:

"...with the sublime melodies of (very hard) Styx (Hea's vocals have a bit of Tommy in'em; harmonies go there too)....."

Actually, also thing of King's X, especially during the "Dogman" era. The geetars have that heavy sound which I adore. Absolutely killer riffage throughout this album.

For those that wanna know, these guys are from Sweden and this is their first album. See? I did some research!

 

The Hellbum

1. End Of Our Days

2. Bleed

3. When The World Comes Down

4. Way Up High

5. Loser On A King's Throne

6. Ready To Believe

7. You Remain

8. ...For My Sins

9. Silent Scream

10. Welcome To The Mystery

 

 

 

Availability: Around $10 used, but looks like it's really limited.

 

 

 

 

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First tune has a bit of a Night Ranger geetar effect, not too bad of a start.  Certainly much better than the cover suggests.

I hear the Corporate rock connection your review quotes elude to, and vocally this guy is good!  But I also hear tunes that really lack some of that AOR/Melodic rock riffage and catchy choruses.  Nothing really grabs me (except for maybe You Remain which is quite nice), but there is potential here, no question about that.  Maybe some tweaking on the song writing side, a name change, and bit of image makeover they could come back and try again.  It also sounds like that may go unrealized given their relationship with the record company and this being there one and only release from 2007-ish, maybe too much time has passed for them to try again?

No, they have two more albums that came out after this and they're still together.

I agree with you guys about the cover, but we all know that really shouldn't have an effect on the music.  Right?  Well, I thought this was very decent.  I enjoyed listening to it.  I enjoyed the riffage and the drumage.   The vocals were good too.  And I did hear some of the Styx/Tommy Shaw sound Jon was talking about.  

Best songs for me were Bleed and Loser On A King's Throne.  Nice post Jon.

Liking this! Very heavy, and well done. Not sure it's a purchase, but not sure it's not. I'll definitely be back to listen to this again. Thanks Jon! Good stuff....undiscovered, until now!

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