SKULL320

HELLEMENTS, Time MachineĀ  (2010, demo)

The skull:
Two dudes walk into a Spencer’s in some Italian mall. They see a wall clock with a skull and crossbones on the clock face. One guy says “Rad! Maybe I’ll buy that.” The other guy responds: [and, get ready, this is the punchline] “Yeah…we can use it for our album cover.”

The music:
Clearly it’s a dodgy album cover. And the album title is a lame pun on the lame album cover. And if “Hellements” is some sort of play on the word “elements,” its cleverness is lost on us. And geezus, did they really have to give the capital “H” a devil tail and Cheshire Cat smile? Doesn’t exactly get you all psyched to hear what this band has to offer. Luckily it’s a mercilessly short three song demo and not a double concept album manifesto. What we have here is traditional heavy metal crossing over to German-sounding power metal, with some Metallica-circa-1986 riffing minus the innovation and a heavily-accented vocalist who possesses an unlistenable warble. This warble ranges from completely unremarkable talk-singing (because he has trouble reaching most notes) and cringeworthy attempts to occasionallly introduce a Michael Kiske squeakiness on top of all this. There are some ham-fisted attempts at Iron Maiden-esque dual leads, and yet some solo leads fly out with laudable precision, but this is nothing you need, even for those of you with a taste for the most execrable of power metal bands. This is metal for little kids…and even some of those would find this intolerable.
— Friar Wagner

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