Back in Hell Review (Metal Temple)

STEVE BLOWER is a British musician known for his work as guitarist and lead singer for the English band HAMEREX. The musician has the book “The Premonition“, the EP “Facilis Descensus Averno” and the first album that was recently released “Back In Hell” on his resumé and is what we are going to talk about.

The first song on the album is called “Back In Hell” and begins with an interesting and traditional Heavy Metal guitar riff. The vocals are very traditional in style and the chorus is reminiscent of IRON MAIDEN. There is a guitar solo and then some duet guitars come in and the song returns to the chorus. The next track “The Whisperer” starts with guitar solos and features a more interesting grooved riff. However, the song returns to a traditional Heavy Metal vibe and there is nothing new here.

What’s Left Of Me” made me think I was listening to some IRON MAIDEN record or BRUCE DICKINSON‘s solo career. The song follows the same formula practiced in previous songs and heard since 1980.  “The Prophet” starts with a dark riff and a drums and bass that will help shape the mood. It’s a different song from the previous ones and you can hear the bass more clearly. “Arabian Nights” is an instrumental song, yet there are repetitive guitar, bass and drum riffs. Then comes a guitar solo that sounds like an improvisation that actually made the song a little boring.

“Out of this World” is also an instrumental, yet another drifter into the realm of IRON MAIDEN. There are solos in the whole song, without really letting it roll with rhythm riffs. Quite honestly, I really didn’t understand the intention of this particular piece, or its timing in the album. “The Midas Touch” begins with groovy guitars and although instrumental like the previous songs, it sounds a little more interesting at first, but then the solos start and I still don’t understand why there are so many improvised solos, and what are they meant for?

Twisted Evolution” heads in with a macabre bass that creates tension, then comes in heavy guitar riffs that keep the mood dark. The song uses pretty much same formula as the previous songs. “The Slain That Ties The Bind” starts off unlike any other song and I can say it’s the best song on the album. It has an interesting progressive start and then the Heavy / Thrash vibe riffs start and some solos here and there. On the other hand, “Haunting Misery” maintains the main album pattern of songwriting, with riffs similar to the previous songs and there is nothing new. Coming in as closer, is “The World is Ablaze” displaying a fast guitar riff and high vocals. Of all the songs on the album, this one had the best vocal work, yet the instrumental is still repetitive without anything fresh to administer.

STEVE BLOWER is a good musician, but I couldn’t identify with any of the songs on the album and the fact that they are extremely similar to songs from established bands made it sound boring. I couldn’t understand the point of having three instrumental songs that could very well have lyrics and been better explored using different instruments instead of just solos and riffs throughout the song. Some people will like it.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 3
Memorability: 1
Production: 5

Overall 4/10


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