Words by Jimmy Glinster
As I diverted away from my usual process and actually watched the Medieval Cowboys video attached to HELLFIRE‘S album promo, I quickly realised that I was in for a traditional/thrash metal adventure. Think Bay Area riffs crossed with Maiden style vocals.
Yeah, not really my kind of thing, and I’m not sure if they are taking the piss with that track name, but anyway, let’s see what the rest of the album has to offer.
The opening and title track Reckoning works its way through a classical style intro as expected with every traditional metal intro ever. Well, not really, but it was worth saying. So yeah, it’s riffy and very traditional in its vocal delivery. You know, before metal vocalists had the balls to scream because they weren’t all choked up in tight leather pants. Anyway, the guitar solos are pretty cool.
The second track is Medieval Cowboys, which we’ve already covered. It Ends Tonight does in fact end, but not before it gallops along with some classic metal chugging, riffology and gang vocals. This band is stuck in the late 70’s/early 80s, but they do it well. Thrill Of The Chase does it well too.
Addicted to Violence is delivered with a little extra aggression than the previous tracks. This one may have made its way into the late 80’s/early 90’s taking more of heavy punk/thrash feel with some easily identifiable Big Four influences.
I think this next one Tortuga Nights is something about pirates. I’m not sure why, but yeah, it’s about pirates and sailing. Good times, I guess.
Eye For An Eye is not the Soulfly cover I was hoping for, but it has got some good riffs. Many Worlds also has some good riffs, as well as some dualling guitars.
A tasty drum fill gets us Nowhere Fast which thrashes like a motherfucker. It’s much like the earlier track Addicted To Violence, and I actually like where the band sits with this track, simply because it’s a little heavier and a touch more aggressive. There’s only so much Dickinson style vocals I can take, so even the slightest variation is a breath of fresh air.
Oh, a ballad, A Dying Moon. That’s nice, unnecessary and boring as fuck, but nice. Alright, I’ve thankfully made it all the way to the end. The Executioner is much of the same again, and I’m not even really listening anymore as I finish this review.
If you are an Iron Maiden fan, you’ll probably really love this album. Alternatively, you’ll hate it, just like you hate Greta Van Fleet for sounding too much like Led Zeppelin. At least they make it their own though …