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Human Remains
August 2015
Released: 2011, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Back in the fall of 2010 I had the very great pleasure of interviewing Andy Sneap live on my radio show. As a treat he brought us an advance track of his forthcoming Hell project. What many people who are not in the radio industry don’t realize is that the DJ or Programmer rarely get to actually sit and listen to music while it is being broadcast. There is always stuff to do, cue the next song, answer the phone, file paperwork and talk to the guests and so unfortunately I never really got to hear and appreciate what he was presenting to me. I was one of the lucky few to get a chance to check it out and it went under my Metal radar. Strike one! My second strike was when I got a digital promo copy from the Nuclear Blast label and being totally saturated with new material I did not really appreciate the magnificence of this record and it went into the external hard-drive. Over the past few years everyone I talked to that knew about the bands debut, HUMAN REMAINS loved it. I finally bought my self a hard copy and really listened to it and…home-run! What a fantastic album. Utterly superb.

The aggregate total review score of HUMAN REMAINS based on 11 reviews (as of mid 2015) on one of the more popular Metal databases is 92%! I’m not the only one who thinks this album is world class. The album received top marks in many international Metal magazines and year-end lists. So now finally, only four years late I’m reviewing it (and the follow up CURSE AND CHAPTER) this month. Better late than never I suppose.

There is a really interesting back-story. It’s been told many times so I won’t recount it here, but I would recommend the excellent Wikipedia page about the album for the full details. The super-short version is that after a string of tragedies the prosing young band Hell back in the early 80’s folded and years later Sneap and co. resurrected the project reworked the demos into what it is today.

The physical CD itself looks fantastic. It sports an awesome cover by Dan Goldsworthy who has also worked with Accept, GloryHammer among others, and the booklet art, design, layout and hidden images and inside jokes are all very (semi) hellish. In terms of production, anything Andy Sneap touches turns to gold and sounds like platinum.

Musically HUMAN REMAINS is a very elaborate set of occult-themed songs all joined with various musical interludes and sound effects. The vocals really stand out. They are so unique, the delivery, the tone and the wordplay are very well done. The lyrics are a cut above many lyrics with clever turns of phrase , subtle references all reminding us of another British wordsmith, Dani Filth. David Bower as a bizarre but appealing delivery. In production the band also restored some of the vocals from original vocalist, David Halliday, who is sadly deceased. The vocals remind me of times of King Diamond in the very best way. The songs range from relatively simple, “Let The BattleCcommence’ to 10 minute epic laden with layers and tempo changes, like centerpiece ‘The Devil’s Deadly Weapon’ and album closer ,the nine minute opus, ‘No Martyr’s Cage’. The whole fast heavy , NWOBHM inspired album is drenched in occult tones and references. The individual performances are all rock solid never getting too frantic or self-indulgent but just churning out classic, traditional Metal. This album is magick.

I haven’t given out too many perfect scores, in fact this is the first one this year out of 150 reviews this year (as of July, 2105), but HUMAN REMAINS is so worthy.
Track Listing

1. Overture (Themes from 'Deathsquad')
2. On Earth as It Is in Hell
3. Plague and Fyre
4. The Oppressors
5. Blasphemy and the Master
6. Let Battle Commence
7. The Devil's Deadly Weapon
8. The Quest
9. Macbeth
10. Save Us from Those Who Would Save Us
11. No Martyr's Cage


David Bower Vocals
Kev Bower Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Andy Sneap Guitars
Tony Speakman Bass
Tim Bowler Drums



Concert Reviews

» Touring Across This Planet Hell - Nightwish in Seattle

» Dokken on Hell to Pay European Tour Copenhagen Denmark 2005

» Hellfueled live at KB in Malm? Sweden 2005

» Helloween Live in New York City at Coney Island High

» Hellfueled Born II Rock tour headline at The Rock in Copenhagen Denmark 2005

» Bolt Thrower, Amoral, HellBox : Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland

» Helloween, Sonata Arctica, Tarot, Graham Bonnet & Twilightning

» Heaven and Hell / Megadeth / Down Live In Vancouver: March 11, 2007

» Hellfueled live in Malm Sweden 2007

» Masterplan and Hellfueled live at KB in Malm Sweden

» Cage - Hell Destroyer Record Release w/ Agent Steel

» Venom The 7 Scandinavien dates of Hell Tour 2007 at KB in Malm Sweden

» Heaven and Hell live at KB-hallen in Copenhagen Denmark 2007

» Heaven and Hell: Live in Helsinki

» HELLISH ROCK - Helloween, Gamma Ray and Axxis in Finland

» Helloween / Gamma Ray / Axxis - Shepherds Bush Empire, London

» Helloween and Gamma Ray at Mejeriet in Lund Sweden 2007

» Helloween in Australia

» The Hellacopters - The Tour Before The Fall at Mejeriet Lund Sweden

» Nashville Pussy - From Hell To Texas European Tour at KB Malmoe Sweden 2009

» The Black Curse Over Hellsinki April 2009

» Copenhell Festival 2010 at Refshaleoen Copenhagen, Denmark

» HELLOWEEN with Stratovarius and Avatar

» Helloween with Stratovarius at The 7 Sinners World Tour, European tour Mejeriet Lund Sweden

» Hell's Pleasure 2010

» Copenhell Festival 2011 at Refshaleoen in Copenhagen Denmark

» Hellfest - Clisson France

» SABATON With Hell @ KoKo, Camden

» Mustasch on Sounds Like Hell Looks Like Heaven Scandinavia Tour 2012 Kulturbolaget Malmoe,Sweden


» Copenhell Festival 2012 at Refshaleoen Copenhagen, Denmark

» Barge to Hell Dec. 3-7 2012

Next review: » Hell Bullet - Kill for Beer demo
Previous review: » Hell - Curse and Chapter

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