Human Remains

1. Overture
2. On Earth As It Is In Hell
3. Plague & Fyre
4. The Oppressors
5. Blasphemy & 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 Martyrs Cage

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

Hell Demo (1982)
Scheming Demons Demo (1982)
Demo 1982 Demo (1982)
Save Us from Those Who Would Save Us Single (1983)
Demo 1986 Demo (1986)


Andy Sneap - production

Released 13/5-2011
Reviewed 27/4-2011

nuclear blast

Yes, this band is actually called Hell, isn’t that a funny name? Their album called Human remains is due friday 13th of may 2011 which would sound fun in a list. Friday the 13th comes Hell and brings you Human Remains, it does sound a little more like something other than a release of a new album, doesn’t it? One Funny thing about this album that I thought of immediately was that I could write Hell how much I wanted in this review and no one would complain about my language, after all I have to mention the name of the band when I write about it.

When the label make press material about this album they use words like classical, legends, influence, true founders of occult metal and so on. One thing Daniel comes to think of then is how many legends of music has not released an album? and at that you fast thinking reader say many, like Salieri, Mozart, Beethoven and all of those but you be wrong since their works are now being released on CDs by different symphonic orchestras and so on, so all legends I know of have released their complete works on record but the only thing Hell has done is release a few demos and a single. They were to release and album after some extensive touring back in the day but the label went bust and the record never materialised and the band instead dematerialised and singer Halliday decided Hell was a better place and committed the sin of killing himself but not before teaching a young Andy Sneap to play the guitar. A fact that is made such a big thing in the promotional information, which is maybe explained by the fact that Sneap is in the band and also a well known metallic figure who have produced a bucketload of metal music in his life, he is also the guitar player of this new and reformed Hell that 25 years after the latest demo now release their first ever album. This time the album will see light of day since I believe that Nuclear Blast will survive at least until friday the 13th.

In the promotional info there was also some funny excepts from what some different writers have said about this album. One said it was the best and most important british heavy metal release since Number of the Beast. Best since that is rubbish since it has been many albums since that said album that has seen the light of day but it is clearly better than Number of the Beast and I can assure you that it will not be as important or influential either. One reviewer said it would become a milestone of the 21st century which sounds like a big pile of manure as it is nowhere near that good and will not appeal to that many people either. Another said it was a like a blueprint of how 21st century heavy metal should sound, I think that is a bit better said and could be but not the best possible blueprint.

I think I am forgetting the musical here, it is heavy metal of the classical format with heavy riffing and all of that, a heavy sound and a high pitched vocal track. On the surface not much uniqueness is to be found but soon you start hearing the singer whose voice is high, menacing and with a hint of panic in it. There are also some spoken words and other parts with a bit of a storytelling feel to them so when you did you find some things that are not according to the format of the heavy metal subgenre. There are eleven tracks on this album and they take a little over an hour to play through, they are also all tracks that can be found on the old demo material that the album did record back in the day. In the classical days when they were a demo band that almost none cared about.

I do believe however that these quoted writers did care about the band back in the day and were overjoyed by the fact that they were finally making an album and their extreme praise is more of a result of that than anything else this band could really only succeed and make history or fail completely with this album and in their minds they succeeded. I don’t see this album as that fantastic, sure it is good and some might even think it belongs on the toplists when 2011 is to be summarised and for me that would still be a possibility albeit a small one since it is beginning to become quite crowded there behind the unquestionable top album of 2011 and that may still mean that Hell has a chance but I would not count on that to be honest. There is a main problem in the fact that this album is too long and therefore foregoing it’s chance to be as good as it could have been. That is actually the one thing I think of when it comes to this album, it could have been so much better, it falls on the last hurdle towards the really high praise from me. First the album is too long with its over one hour of music and secondly there is something missing a little part of that x factor, they have some of it but the final little touch is missing.

Of the eleven songs on this album there are two that are worth lifting up and giving a little extra spotlight time since they are a bit better than the rest. First of those is the ninth track which goes under the name of Macbeth and it is such a great song mainly thanks to the fantastic vocal work it holds. The evil and desperation as well as panic that is in the vocals of this song is amazing and had there been more of this kind of singing on this album, well it would make a world of difference. Then we have the following, the tenth track that is named simply Save Us From Thos Who Would Save Us which has this great intro that reflects on the catholic church’s way with children but it also a really good track in the musical department. Besides these mentioned track there are nine good tracks but none more that stand out in this way and none that make me feel that it is something extra which I do with said tracks.

I had never heard of this classic or legendary band before I got access to this particular release and for me it does not matter, it does not feel as though I have missed anything since their best tracks are now remade with better production and sound and put on an album that I could buy if I was interested. I can assure you that I like this album much better than most of the bands that arrived in the era when this band was first active and I cannot care less wether or not they were an influence to other bands. History has no bearing on a new album and it does not matter what band we are speaking of, Hell makes a debut album that is 25 years late and one singer late as well but I am sure he will enjoy his time in Hell for a while when this new release is released there on the Devil’s birthday on June the 6th which incidentally coincide with the Swedish national day.

For some reason this review just kept going and going, it is almost like I loaded a set of Energizer Lithium in my writing mind and then kept writing ‘til they ran out of energy which usually take long while the letters keep appearing on the paper in front of me but to round it all off I would say that it will be hard for this album to become a top ten album of 2011 and of course even harder to become a musical milestone. Still it does make an impression and the vocal work alone on this album make it very worth to look up.

I wish I could say that this is one hell of a great album but it is not quite possible so instead I will have to make due with saying that this is a fucking great album.


Label - Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands - Blitzkrieg/Accept/Paralex
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm