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Hellfueled
Born II Rock
December 2005
Released: 2005, Black Lodge
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

The band achieved great success with their debut album VOLUME ONE that came out last year. They also released the great EP MIDNIGHT LADY at the beginning of 2005.



The guys were support act to the Swedish 80’s phenomenon Europe on their reunion tour that kicked off the winter of 2004; it was a tour that reached through the whole Scandinavia. This year the guys have mostly played at different festivals, for example Sweden Rock Festival and Rock Hard festival. They have also done a mini tour with another Swedish act called Mustasch.



Whether Andy the singer likes it or not you can draw huge parallels between his voice and the legendary Ozzy Osbourne’s very characteristic voice. The very skilled guitar player, Jocke’s playing reminds quite a lot of Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society etc) and I think that the band will have to live with these constant reminders of Ozzy.



The band has changed course on this second album. If VOLUME ONE was jammed with a mix between pure 80’s metal and 70’s retro rock, the focus on BORN II ROCK is more on well-played heavy metal and the lead vocals. The 70’s retro rock has been pushed back in favor of more heavy riffing guitar based heavy metal but still we can sense the stoner rock lurking in the background.



The guys entered Studio Fredman and Fredrik Nordström, together with Patrik J, has done an awesome production. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is because every production Fredrik touches turns to gold and I think that this album are one of the heaviest albums that have came out of this studio in a long time.



The material feels very worked through and fresh. The songs that falls a bit out of the frame from the rest are “Can’t Get Enough” where the guys invite us to a song full of heavy as well as power metal, the song has a lot of tempo changes and also incredibly catchy choruses but it doesn’t make it as an opening track, I think. Then we have “Girls, Girls” which is the worst song on the whole album. Much because of the glam/rock feel it has as well as the corny lyrics.



But besides those two tracks there isn’t much to complain about regarding this second album. The songs that clearly have the potential to become hits are also my favorites, “Look Out”, “Born II Rock”, “Friend”, “Old” and “Make It Home”.



But as I mentioned in the beginning of the review, Andy’s voice can be a bit tiring to listen to, he’s not bad at all at what he does, but maybe he should use the rest of his vocal range instead of what he does now. It was fun on the debut to hear a person that sounds so close to Ozzy but it’s time to leave that behind now and focused on creating a sound and voice that are your own.



The other “negative” thing with BORN II ROCK is Jocke’s Zakk-alike guitar which is a bit disturbing because Jocke is hell of a guitar player and he doesn’t need to be so influenced by Zakk Wylde that he actually sounds like him.



For all of you who bought the debut and are going to buy BORN II ROCK, be prepared for a minor change of course, but I can guarantee that you’re not going to be disappointed. I really hope that the guys are headed out on a proper tour soon, they have already been out doing a few gigs already and a 2-weeks tour is going to take place later this winter.



Also available from Sound Pollution: http://www.soundpollution.se
Track Listing

Can’t Get Enough
Regain Your Crown
Look Out
Friend
Born II Rock
Old
Girls, Girls
On The Run
Angel
Make It Home
I Don’t Care

Lineup

Andy Alkman – lead vocals
Jocke Lundgren – guitar
Henke Lönn – bass
Kent Svensson – drums


Next review: » Hellfueled - Memories in Black
Previous review: » Hellfire - Requiem For My Bride





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