THE HOUNDS OF HASSELVANDER - THE NINTH HOUR

BLACK WIDOW RECORDS / BLOOD ROCK RECORDS

 

Metal To Infinity

Yesterday I was watching a ‘true story’ about hauntings and possessions. Well, a true story… I don’t actually believe in those kinds of things but it was filmed on a very exciting way and from the moment I took this album to make this review it reminded me to that documentary because of the front cover. As a matter of fact this front cover is a very simple photograph but it breathes darkness, without any doubt. I don’t even know if there is even a track about Devil’s possessions on this record but that I could expect pure darkness was clear at first. It was a good reason to listen to “The Ninth Hour” on this depressing and rainy day…

The Hounds Of Hasselvander is the band of a man that listens to the name of Joe Hasselvander. Who is Joe Hasselvander? Don’t you know him? Well than I suppose you need to dig into the History book of Heavy Metal to find his name back as a drummer of bands like Raven, Guardians Of The Flame (with Jack Starr), Doom Metal band Black Manta, Phantom Lord (with Joe Leone from Attacker – R.I.P.)… Mister Hasselvander is a very experienced musician, a professional musician and meanwhile we can say he’s an icon in our scène! He’s a vocalist, a good guitar player and a drummer, a Metal head ‘pur sang’!

No doubts that the old Black Sabbath was his main source of inspiration for this album but this Mister Hasselvander is meanwhile so experienced that he can put his own creative ideas and emotions into his music. “The Ninth Hour” is a good produced old school Heavy Metal album on which the tempo is often very low. From the very first tunes of this record the listener is in the right mood! The title track overwhelms me at once, no doubt something special has been written by mister Hasselvander! This is for a big part Doom Metal in a blender with old school NWOBHM, nothing more to be said? Well, let’s ensemble superlatives to describe it all a bit more clear! Mister Hasselvander goes back to the dark ages of Metal to stay there, far away from every possible influence of the modern world. Hasselvander is a respected person and it’s so obvious that this man knows how to write a good Metal song. The only track of this album with a different sound is the Mountain cover “Don’t Look Around” because it’s a more melodic yet classic Hard Rock track.

Hasselvander knows the secret to constantly put surprises in the music and so the listener is obliged to stay focused and excited. The leads are often spectacular because of the feelings and emotions he puts into them. He creates – musical wise – that seducing dark atmosphere into this album and that makes me bow my head deep for him. The Epic touches are always around and obscurity is just a fact, it’s even a synonym for this release! Along with Martin Swaney (Deathrow / Pentagram) Hasselvander delivers first class music, complex but yet focused on melodic tunes, the way I adore Doom Metal! Darkness, melody and skills are blended perfectly on this threatening and mysterious release!

This record is full of good old school Heavy/Doom metal tracks that are foreseen of good played guitars and drums. Fans of Seventies Hard Rock Hhand ancient Heavy Metal tunes will really like what they hear, even more I assure you they will be astonished. This is the third effort of The Hounds, at least when we also mention their EP. A first class album and a band that I expect one of those years on the old school Metal festivals in Germany. Check: http://www.myspace.com/thehoundsofhasselvander   

My Points: 89 / 100 (Review by Officer Nice)