Raise Hell – City Of The Damned

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Reviewed: August 2006
Released: 2006, Black Lodge/Sound Pollution
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Raise Hell comes from Stockholm Swden and started out in 1996, but under a different name then. It was their first demo NAILED that landed them a deal with Nuclear Blast and in 1998 they entered the Abyss Studio to record the debut album HOLY TARGET, and it was right before the release of that album that the band changed its name. A few members have come and gone throughout the years. It was after their third album the cooperation with Nuclear Blast ended, and then decided to enter the gates of Black Lodge in 2004. This album was recorded in 2005 in order to be released 2006, so it’s been quiet from Raise Hell until now. The only signs of life from the camp have been a 7’’ limited vinyl single and a few shows.

The music is still grinding heavy metal with a lot of the Iron Maiden-patented harmonies through the songs. And just add a little hard punching German thrash metal to that you have the full picture. It’s nothing new but still quite fun and impressive.

CITY OF THE DAMNED was recorded by Jörgen Svensson in Tyroon Productions, Jörgen have managed to create a production that sounds old school and also sounds like it’s been recorded in the 80’s, and that’s something I don’t really know if I like. I’d rather see that he had stayed in this decade and made a proper sound-picture for the guys to rumble around in. I also think that the guitars lie way too low and the singer Jimmy Fällendahl is too high up. His voice is really enervating sometimes and it wouldn’t hurt too have put him lower under the guitars. The guys have added almost every ingredient they needed to make a complete album, but they forgot to add creativity and variation. The songs sounds too similiar to each other and you almost don’t know where one begins and the other ends. That makes the album too predictible and limited.

If we were going to rate the album cover artwork Raise Hell would easily have gotten 5 out of 5 because the cover is so damned good looking. It reminds you of the old detailed vinyl Iron Maiden covers from the good old days where you would find new details and things everytime you looked at it, so the band gets a 5 in rating for the awesome cover. Otherwise, the album is easily forgotten largely because of the unvaried songs and lousy production. The highlights of the album are “City Of The Damned”, “Like Clowns We Crawl”, “Reapers Calling”, “Open Your Mind”, and “My Shadow”.



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Track Listing:
Devil’s Station
City Of The Damned
Like Clowns We Crawl
Reapers Calling
Open Your Mind
Ghost I Carry
My Shadow
To The Gallows

Jonas Nilsson – guitar
Niklas Sjöström – bass
Dennis Ekdahl – drums
Jimmy Fjällendahl – lead vocals