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The Hell
Groovehammer

Company: Prosthetic Records
Release: 2014
Genre: Metalcore
Reviewer: Greg Watson

  • Goofing around or deliberately playing over the top?



  • The Hell is one of those bands you either love to death or hate to their very core. I had never really heard too much about them, give or take a blurb in one of the mags. For starters, there's not really a whole lot of information about them on the web, which was a little strange but it may be part of the M.O. As the first song started it became apparent that The Hell are the Steel Panther of metalcore. As I listened to the lyrics, I felt that I had hit the nail on the head.

    With overly silly lyrical themes and songs like "We Like Dicks", "Deal With It" and "Bangers and Mosh", it's easy to think that this is just a mock band. But the more I listened through the album, the more I became undecided. Their lyrics are very over the top and quite humorous but are they really doing these lyrics tongue-in-cheek as a slap in the face of metalcore? Or are they just making the songs that way because they don't care what people think about them or the genre as a whole? I have no idea still. But what I do know is that regardless of posturing, the band are very adept at crafting a perfect metalcore song and delivering it with no hiccups or blatantly obvious mockery.

    Tracks like "Everybody Dies", "Take Me Out" and "Snakes" are solid craft and could be heard on any of the smorgasboard of metalcore bands on the market today. What really does take some getting used to, however, are the vocals. The death vocals are incredibly done and hands down my favorite of the two styles that appear on "Groovehammer". The clean vocals are where things hit a snag. They are grating. For those of you that remember "Hook", think of Smee (played by the inimitable Bob Hoskins) singing/rapping. I could well do without those vocals but the play between those and the death vocals really do work well together. Musically, there are plenty of mammoth, bone crushing breakdowns and choruses for you to chant along with, which I found myself doing quite frequently.

    The production is quality and overall, there's no glaring issues with the album itself. But to not know whether the band is just goofing around or deliberately playing over the top is maddening. That being said, however, The Hell have definitely earned a fan out of me. Regardless of their motives "Groovehammer" is a massive album full of heavy riffs, sing along choruses galore and a good romp from start to finish.



    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: THE HELL
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    GroovehammerThe Hell
    2014
    Greg Watson7/10/2014


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