Metal To Infinity

The first Belgian Metal band with a female singer at the helm was undoubtedly Acid, our own national Heavy Metal pride. That was in the early eighties and if you do not forget to count, we’re almost three decades later on now – disappointing fact is that we have during this time a very few decent, female singers. To be honest, I can not mention five! But brothers and sisters of Metal, there is a big change well underway to get rid of that situation – watch out for a band originating from Limburg – Belgium, called Hell City! Started five years ago, only one EP entitled “Here Comes The Sin” released but with their debut, full length album “Demons To Rest”, Hell City. For sure Hell City will conquer many hearts longing for Power / Heavy Metal – read my opinion as follows. 

About nowadays female fronted Metal bands, well that’s like a knife cut on both sides. We have the soprano-esque types in the vein of Within Temptation, Nightwish, Epica and stuff – not my cup of tea! At the other side we have the more aggressive ones like Arch Enemy, Holy Moses and Izegrim among others which I can accept a lot more. But the vocals of Hell City’s Michelle Nivelle has nothing to do with all this, no way! Her throat is pure and clean, yet strong and powerful enough and I would classify her in a category of very talented singers.  My comparisons are with “the fallen mistress of US Metal” named Michelle Meldrum (ex-Meldrum and Phantom Blue) and Bettina France of another US band called Meanstreak. Michelle from Hell City is one of the best Belgian female singers (along with Kate from Acid of course) we’ve got in the history of Heavy Metal music.  

The style of Hell City’s music falls under the name nowadays Power / Heavy Metal. Guitar players deliver an outstanding job with content: groovy, quite simple powerplay riffs and nice melodic shreds all over the way. What also strikes me is the fact every now and than, old Metallica guitar moves to cross my mind. The more subdued guitar lines taken from these legends’ well-known tracks like ‘One’ or ‘Orion’ appear occasionally and interesting point to mention, it’s all played very excellent! For ninety percent, “Demons To Rest” has pure Power Metal to offer featuring a great singer and a huge package of galloping rhythms. Add to this a wealth of melodic guitar moves including nice shreds and a swirling production (recordings took place at Unbalanced Studio Genk-Belgium / mastering by the great New York based Alan Douches)… All things considered, I can only recommend “Demons To Rest” to all those who like their sounds of steel more modern than old school, that’s for sure. But in the end, that’s not the most important thing – according to me, it gives me a satisfied feel deep down inside to know that Metal still lives here in Belgium.  

Mostly when I have a conversation with other people about Belgian Metal, they come along with the name Channel Zero. With all respect for the band but damn, we’ve got more good bands in promotion, be sure about that! What’s wrong with After All, Fireforce, Powerstone, Gae Bolga, The Difference, Dyscordia, Lemuria, Trouble Agency and so many others… and then I have not even talk about our mighty 80s Metal troops. Worshipping and supporting the Belgian Metal scene since the early 80s, uncountable concerned bands brought me great times anyhow… now, and with a lot of dignity, I’d like to ad Hell City to the map as well!   

Very promising band with a good knowledge of how to make so called ‘modern Metal works’ versatile and enjoyable. They’re really good and strong enough to compete with loads of other, worldwide acts so spread the word of Hell City and its new, darn good produced album “Demons To Rest” (available through Fakto Records). Find out more on the band’s history at:  http://hellcity.be  Along with the new After All album “Dawn Of The Enforcer”, Hell City’s “Demons To Rest” best Belgian Metal works to me! 

My Points: 86 / 100 (Review by Stefan)