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Hellride - 'Acousticalized' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ff/54/46/hellride-acousticalized-82-1392685848.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 18, 2014    
 
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Traditional metal done in an untraditional way.

There are no buzzing amps, electric guitars or drums here, but it is still most definitely a metal album. Purveyors of acoustic metal, this three-piece from Nuremberg suffice with Kai Pasemann and Stefan Gassner on acoustic guitars and Tommy Klossek planting decidedly metal vocals over the top. There are a few other bands that think outside of the box and bring us metal that doesn't rely on conventional rock instrumentation, such as Apocalyptica who use classical instruments and In Legend who take a piano approach. Like those other two bands, after the initial rush of surprise and appreciative nods of how inventive it is, after a couple of songs you can't help thinking it would benefit from thunder in the rhythm section and the alchemy of electric guitar.

'Army Of Angels' and 'Warbusiness' rock acoustically but they'd have more dynamism plugged in. If that sounds all a bit negative, there is some cheer. Live, this would impress, albeit early on the bill. The production, done by the band, is great with the guitars crystal clear allowing you to hear each strum and vibration. The interplay between the guitarists is good and they keep the rhythm engaging, showing how versatile the acoustic sound can be. Klossel growls and sings resourcefully, with harmonies beefing up the sound.

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There's a mix of seven self-penned tracks and six covers on the disc. Black Sabbath's 'Heaven And Hell' sees Klossek put in an impressive Ronnie James Dio impression and Motorhead's 'Ace Of Spades', with a guest appearance from Tom Angelripper of Sodom, sounds like a grizzled cowboy song, something you feel Lemmy would approve of. There are also covers of S.O.D., Queensryche, Type O Negative and the lesser known Cronos Titan. Type O Negative's 'Love You To Death' appears as a live version here but doesn't work as well as some of the other covers.

Their own songs are not in the same league as the aforementioned cover songs, but the heavy 'Black Tulips' stands out as a solid tune (although it too would benefit from some electricity). The trouble with stripping songs down to their acoustic form is it exposes any weaknesses in melody or dynamics as they don't have the full band sound to conceal any flaws. Those interested in learning acoustic guitar or hearing traditional metal done in an untraditional way will enjoy going on a Hellride.

Duncan Jamieson

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