BLESSED HELLRIDE - Bastards & Outlaws

Blessed Hellride - Bastards & Outlaws

14 songs
61:43 minutes
***** ***


In the 90s Trier was well known for its punk scene. Lately there have also been some metalcore bands making an impact. But there are also other artists to discover, like for instance Blessed Hellride who were founded in 2013 in Germanyís oldest city. The band is named after an album of Zakk Wyldeís Black Label Society, so you know what to expect from their first longplayer Bastards & Outlaws, following after two EPs from 2011 and 2013.

The five stately gentlemen who weigh together 555 kilograms play crunchy heavy rock with hints of groove and Southern rock. The short Western intro is followed by the first single Helldorado which offers straight hard rock with some acoustic parts. The two guitars are interacting quite harmoniously while the rhythm section builds a steady foundation. Yet the bandís trump card is vocalist Tiny Fuel whose charismatic vocals remind me strongly of W.A.S.P.ís Blackie Lawless.

Actually Bastards & Outlaws sounds like a record from an 80s American band. If you grew up back in those days and have a predilection for heavier music, you might really get your kicks out of Blessed Hellride who despite their obvious influences still manage to sound quite distinct. The rather groovy Blessed Hellride is one of the strongest tracks on the album. There are also a lot of mid-tempo songs, like Goddam Hippie and Blood Red River who both happen to entertain quite excellently. Thereís even two listenable ballads. Dead Manís Blues reminds of Bon Joviís Wanted Dead Or Alive. The concluding Back From Hell is so gloomy that you canít help thinking of Johnny Cash. Only Overdrive Junkies loses momentum after its prompt beginning, and it definitely could have done with a shorter guitar solo.

Those who like traditional heavy rock will be regally entertained by Blessed Hellride. The musicians are on the one hand acting very professionally but on the other hand donít take themselves too seriously, which allows the album to stay freshly light-hearted. I can imagine that the quintet is even more fun on stage than on CD, but still can recommend the latter without compunction.

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