Released: 2007, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The always-happy bass player Markus Grosskopf from Helloween has taken the leap over to a solo project where he’s gathered some of the best bassists in the world on the same album. The idea of doing a bass album came to Grosskopf while he sat in a bar. It includes bass, twin bass parts, bass solos, rhythm bass, vocals, drums and no guitars. Grosskopf got in touch with other bass players and singers like Tom Angelripper from Sodom, Schmier from Destruction and Peavy from Rage, and 10 others.
The simplest way to describe the music is heavy metal with a twist of melodic heavy metal. It’s different and interesting to hear an album that lacks guitar, but at the same time I have a problem with the overdose of bass. Sure, it’s unique and a different approach, but it tends to get a little boring in the long run. The 14 songs include a cover of the Helloween song “Eagle Fly Free” and a bonus track for the European market called “To Hell and Back”. HELLBASSBEATERS clocks in at almost one hour, which is a little too long for an album of this caliber. Most of the material is really solid and strong but the missing link is guitar and it would really benefit from some axe-action.
The highlights of the album are “We Live” and “Empty Memories (Breaking Free)” which are the more melodic heavy metal songs; both have catchy choruses with really technical parts and it sounds like they’re sung by Apollo from Firewind (Evil Masquerade, Time Requiem etc). “The Asshole Song” is a hard rock party anthem sung by Jesper Binzer from D.A.D. The faster and heavier songs “Armageddon”, “Godless Gods” and “Dead from the Eyes Down” are also worth being mentioned as highlights. The covers of “Eagle fly Free” and “To Hell and Back” add nothing to the album’s flavor in general and could have been left out.
I’m not fully convinced by Grosskopf and crew, but I have to admit it was a nice idea. Maybe the next time he will succeed to the fullest.