Released by: Fastball Music
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Acoustic Metal
Tommy Klossek: vocals
Kai Pasemann: acoustic guitars
Stefan Gassner: acoustic guitars
1.Army Of Angels
3.Heaven And Hell
4.Death Is A Killer
6.Take Hold Of The Flame
9.Ride To Hell
10.Ace of Spades (featuring Tom Angelripper of Sodom)
11.United Forces (featuring Gerre of Tankard)
12.Love You To Death (live)
13.Slow Song (bonus track)
Maybe you know the feeling: you are riding on your (motor)bike or whatever and as several thoughts go through your mind you suddenly notice that you took the ‘wrong’ road somewhere, a road you have never been before. At first you might feel a bit of stress as you are clearly on unfamiliar roads: how did I get here ? where does it lead to ? how do I return to familiarity ? But after a while you even might enjoy the unknown road, curious where it will lead you.
Well, that’s the same feeling I initially encountered while listening to German based Hellride’s Acousticalized for the first time: WTF ? An acoustic metal album ? There definitely must be something wrong ! But wait, this sounds not so bad at all !
Heavy music stripped bare to the bone is certainly not something completely new. Since the mtv-unplugged days from the 90-ies many hard-rock or heavy-metal bands (I remember Aerosmith and Queensryche playing acoustic at these shows, but there are for sure many more) have incorporated this in their live shows. And once in a while they record an acoustic track on their studio albums. Generally this is an ideal trick for keeping the listener’s attention span, just like riding on an unknown road can be refreshing and enjoyable (provided you don’t have an appointment at a certain time and place !).
Hellride though is one of the first metal bands that doesn’t use electric guitars and drums at all ! They just wrap the core of the music in an acoustic guise, clean but still heavy.
Singer Tommy Klossek (ex Megabite), guitarist Kai Pasemann (ex Paradox) and guitarist Stefan Gassner (ex Dreamscape) are on a self imposed mission to become the leaders of the ‘new wave of acoustic metal’ ! And they already started this mission years ago by playing live on stage (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and even on numerous festivals like Wacken. This gave them a good feeling obviously as the Nuremberg based trio now finally release their debut album with 13 tracks, a mix of self-composed songs and covers from metal classics (Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Queensryche etc.).
The threesome have put in a lot of passion and truly payed attention to the smallest details of every track. Tommy’s voice is very soulful for sure and the acoustic guitars manage to completely forget about the drums. Despite that every single track on the album is quite enjoyable, in the end I’m not prone to this ‘new wave of acoustic metal’-thing. I seriously doubt whether heavy music be re-discovered solely with just a voice and two acoustic guitars. For me it simply doesn’t work a whole album (or a whole gig ? ) long. But I invite all you readers, listeners to judge this album on its merits yourself.
So my final verdict : nice done but I don’t love it. Still kudo’s though for the bold attempt these 3 guys are taking with their music.
Written by Ruud