Hellfueled - Volume 1 - Black Lodge Records - 2004
Let Me Out Midnight Lady Second Deal Someone Lives Inside Eternal Mindbreaker Sunrise Live My Life Rock´N´Roll Break Free Hunt Me Down
I want to talk about Ozzy Osbourne. He's certainly had his ups and downs the last 15 years. Moving away from the bat-biting, moon-howler of the 80's, The Oz Man came forth with a hot young guitarist, Zakk Wylde, who infused his music with a blues guitar bite that helped lead him out of the alt-picking didling of the Jake E Lee years. "No Rest For The Wicked" may have been lackluster, but "No More Tears" sent him back up the mountain as a commercial selling property and a solo force in metal. His career high continued with the decent "Ozzmosis" release, but by the new mellinium he became the loveable stumbler-bumbler on MTV and put out the flat "Down To Earth" record.
Why talk about Ozzy so much in a Hellfueled review--because they sound just like him. It's no big shock that lead singer Andy and guitarist Jocke site Ozzy as a musical influence and favorite. When you hear Andy say "alll-right" or even sing the word "insane", you'd think some miracle man restored Ozzy back to his old vigorous self. As derivative as they sound, though, they blow the doors off of anything Ozzy is putting out now. In fact, you could say that they're as fun to listen to as he was in his prime.
The guitar work of "Volume 1" jumps right out and attacks you with all of (most of) the power and trills that Zakk is know for and drummer Kent adds plenty of cymbal crash to the rhythm section to lend it that exciting hard rock feel. Producer Fredrik Nordström (Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, The Haunted, In Flames, Hammerfall) gave this one a crisp sound with lot’s of guitars tearing it up with at least 8 songs better than anything on the radio now.
What's missing to put it over the top is some of the song innovation you'd find in Ozzy ("No More Tears"), ballad change-ups ("Mama, I'm Coming Home") and the lyrics are fairly simplistic hard rock (Let me out/Let me fly around the fields/I don't give a damn/If I smell like gasoline) with none of the Sabbathy weighty subject matter about war and the occult or even the ironic/sarcastic deliveries that Ozzy is known for ("Thank God For The Bomb", "Mr. Crowley"). Hellfueled is more a fun record, best turned up to feel good.
Bottom Line: This CD will knock your ass off while you're watching Ozzy for the laughs.
Top Tracks: Let Me out, Midnight Lady, Second Deal, Eternal, Mindbreaker, Live My Life, Break Free
Score: 8.5 of 10
About this Writer: Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.
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