Hear the sound of distant thunder… the time has come again.
Friday the 13th is universally feared for unleashing the darkest imaginable forces in human history. When the entity about to burst forth has waited hidden, seething and festering for a quarter of a century before unloading its gross assault on the senses, the outcome is potentially spectacular. Such is the case with NWOBHM legends HELL, who on May 13th in Europe will release the first studio album of their career, Human Remains, through Nuclear Blast Records. The album’s North American release date will be announced soon.
One of the true founding fathers of occult metal and cited as a huge indirect influence to many bands, HELL formed in 1982 from the carcasses of U.K. metal bands Reace Against Time and Paralex, whose White Lightning EP was listed by Metallica as a favorite and was subsequently included on the Lars Ulrich / Geoff Barton ‘NWOBHM ’79 Revisited’ sampler album.
Despite over five years of constant touring, HELL were cruelly overlooked by the ’80s music press, who just didn’t get it. The band was just too different, too extreme, too musically intelligent and far too thought-provoking for all but the most enlightened music listener to understand them. The final crushing blow came when their long-awaited 1986 album deal with Mausoleum collapsed as the label went bankrupt, followed by the tragic suicide of singer/guitarist, Dave Halliday, in 1987. The remaining members drew a line in the sand and stopped playing overnight.
Meanwhile, a teenaged Andy Sneap was a permanent fixture in the front row of almost every show HELL played and was also taught to play guitar by Halliday. He then went on to form Sabbat and became a world-renowned metal producer. Upon meeting again, the remaining members of HELL – Kev Bower (guitar & keyboards), Tony Speakman (bass) and Tim Bowler (drums) – talked with Andy about re-recording the old material to release in conjunction with the old demos. With Sneap replacing Halliday on guitar and completed by David Bower on vocals, the band has recorded 10 HELL classics from the ‘80s.
A highly respected European magazine has declared HELL as thee band to watch out for in 2011 and has already described Human Remains as one of the best things they have heard in the last 15 years.
Like a venomous creature preserved in amber, HELL’s legacy becomes reborn – pure and untainted, cast forth screaming.
States Jaap Wagemaker, A&R for Nuclear Blast Germany: “HELL are one of my all time favorite bands from the NWOBHM era and I am really stoked to get the chance to work with a band I consider so groundbreaking! Back in the day, I received their demos through tape-trading and now, years later, with the music re-recorded by Andy Sneap, the band sounds even fresher than ever before! I am very proud that we at Nuclear Blast now have the chance to work with HELL and give you the chance to listen to some timeless music. It is about time that HELL got the international recognition that they deserve and that so many people who are unaware of this monster band finally get the chance to hear all these classics!”
O wretched souls in mortal cast – know this, and know it well,
The hour has come when it shall be – on Earth as it is in HELL.
HELL’s 2011 line-up:
· David Bower – Vocals
· Kev Bower – Guitar & Keyboards
· Andy Sneap – Guitar
· Tony Speakman – Bass
· Tim Bowler – Drums