Helligators – Hell III
Release date: 04/06/2019
Running Time: 60:00
Review by Alun Jones
Listening to “Hell III” – the new Helligators release – and you can almost smell the Cajun cookin’ and moonshine brewing. This is greasy, crazy biker rock from the southern states. No doubt Helligators have fine-tuned their art in a roadhouse shack just off some dusty highway, the sounds of the bayou just inches away. The heat and the trees, the swamp and the…
What? They’re from where? Like Rome, Florida or something? What, actual Rome? In Italy? Oh. Well ya could’a fooled me!
Yes, Helligators are from Rome, Italy – though my first listen to this album had me thinking of something far more Corrosion of Conformity in origin. “Hell III” is powerful, dirty hard rock with just a hint of stoner metal, big melodies and southern charm. But not southern USA charm, apparently…
Anyway, this third album from the band blows the doors off with the huge, raucous rampage of ‘Rebellion’ – a great start to the album. It reeks of attitude and speeds out of the gates in a Motörhead fashion.
Following tracks ‘Here To Stay’ and ‘Bleeding’ apply the brakes slightly, but are just as crushingly relentless. This is big chunky guitar territory; guitars courtesy of Kamo and El Santo are head bangingly infectious and also intricate when called for.
There’s a definite change of pace with the almost bluesy ‘Where I Belong’ – but by Jupiter, the chorus is monstrous. The skilled vocals of Simone “Dude” have a versatility that keep everything together and has class enough to avoid a parmesan power ballad stench.
Helligators are certainly stretching their creativity with this album. ‘The Prison (Confession Pt 1)’ and ‘Gone (Confession Pt 2)’ demonstrate an ability to develop an epic suite of music. Meanwhile, the instrumental ‘Bassthard Session’ also shows the rhythm section – Alex (drums) and Pinna (Bass) to full effect.
But it’s the fast, super charged Rock’N’Roll of total bangers like ‘Born Again’ and ‘Pedal To The Metal’ that are the great prize here. Hard rock that’s loud and fun – Helligators came, saw and conquered all.
Did I tell you about the time I was in Italy with Ozzy, on tour in 81? I took him and the band to a restaurant after the gig for some quality Italian grub. Ozzy was off his tits and thought the spaghetti was worms, and tried to snort them. It ended with food everywhere and Ozzy pissing up the walls. I had a right job apologising to the manager and sorting everything out. Ozzy – lovely bloke; absolute liability.
02. Here To Stay
04. Where I Belong
05. Born Again
06. The Prison (Confession pt.1)
07. Gone (Confession pt.2)
08. Until I Feel No More
09. Bassthard Session III
10. Even From The Grave
11. Pedal To The Metal
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