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I never cease to be amazed. - 85%

Mr_Bling, April 13th, 2003

This is a quirky little piece of work from Countess we have here.
It is the only studio recording featuring a full band that is available to the masses.
Since this is only a four track piece we'll just do a track-by-track breakdown.

First we have the highlight of the album, and that is the title track "Hell's Rock & Roll", the song starts off with some nice guitarwork (courtesy of Zagan) and then lunges into a very rock&roll'ish beat. Furthermore we have the standard Orlok vocals and his trademark bass work and finally we have Warhead on some very supressed drums. The drums pack no real punch, that however is a good thing as it brings much clarity to the drumwork and there are a few tasty fills here and there.
The star of the song is Zagan though, the guitarwork is just plain amazing.

Next we have "Son of the Dragon", and again we start off with a tasty lead guitar, this song is more standard Countess though as it is a tad faster and the drums are somewhat more pronounced. A very solid song, and again some really tasty guitar work.

Moving right along we get to "Dokkum 754" and this is pure Countess, slow and brooding just as we are used to.
I should probably mention for good measure that the first two songs are written by Zagan and Zagan/Orlok respectively, which is why they contain lead guitars to the extent that they do.

The closing track on this disc is a live rendition of "On the Wings of Azazel" recorded November 2nd 1996 in Schiedam, the sound quality isn't exactly cause for celebration but you can hear the various instruments clearly and the only gripe I have is that Orloks vocals are very subdued.
A point of interest is that rythm-guitar on this track is played by Othalaz.

And thus have we come to an end.
I really think that adding an actual guitar player does alot for Countess (also witnessed on Revenge of the Horned One pt1&2 where Zagan makes a full-time appearance), he makes the songs appear alive and it never hurt to have a few tasty licks in a song.

In short, if you can find it buy it. It's that easy.