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Where have they gone to? - 65%

Stein23, May 11th, 2009

Yes it’s true; Thrash Metal is under constant resurrection these past few years. A lot of old school Thrash Metal bands are on the verge of comeback. Hallows Eve are one of those bands that came alive to continue their 80’s heritage.

Hallows Eve made it back to the Metal world in 2004 by presenting their single Evil Offerings. A year later in 2005 they released their first official “comeback” album, Evil Never Die while only one crew member from the original line up was present. 3 years later Hallows Eve is back for the ride with their new release The Neverending Sleep. It must be said that this type of comeback is not expected by the veteran band, that was formed in 1983, and released gems like Death And Insanity and Monument back in the glory days.

The one true good thing that came out of the band before issuing this release is the return of their legendary lead vocalist, Stacy Anderson that ruled the vocals in their 80’s classics. Unfortunately, Anderson’s latest return didn’t help this release to be much better. Along with Anderson came new members to take the roles of drums and guitars.

Dale Bright, guitarist and producer, seemed to have a real hard time with producing this release. First thing is the sound. All over the album one can hear some sort of white noise which is getting more intense when some instruments mix. In most of the tracks this issue is almost a killer in a negative aspect. It ruins the songs. One can’t hear this album as loud as they would probably want to because they will hear only screeching sounds. This problem is, maybe, caused by high gain volumes on the guitar lines or some of the drum lines. It’s probably that Bright had good intentions to create the 80’s sound. He partly succeeded with guitars and drums that sound like 80’s-era, but he didn’t pay attention to this major error.

Second thing is the mastering factor. In various songs there are some bumps regarding the volume of the instrument’s recording lines. For example in the mid section of “Bed Of Nails” the guitars are killing the vocals and nothing can be understood from Anderson. “Night Of The Neverending Sleep” is another example. In the beginning of the opening verse when Anderson starts singing, the guitars are overwhelming him and it sounds like a fight to the death. After this verse the problem is fixed and the rest is good. In the track, “Interface”, there is the same deal. The guitars are chocking the vocals at some points.

Overall, the material presented on this album is mostly fair. Many of the riffs are heavy and have a rough edge to them but many are similar to each other, most of the solos are not that special and pretty much most of the lyrics are, what can be said, usual and expected. One thing that is troubling, regarding the tune of the vocals, is that there is a pattern that is repeating in two songs. “Night Of The Neverending Sleep” and “The Sun Must Die” has the same vocals pattern in the singing verses. It is unknown if these two songs are connected in any way. From what is more likely to be seen they are just an opener and a closer. But when you play the album from the last song straight to the first it sounds like two similar songs, although the subjects regarding the lyrics are different.

Although with the fallouts that the album contains, it still has some good songs that probably, with better production, can be hit songs. “The Sun Must Die” , the closing track, is the best on the album and most versatile of all. It has a awesome chorus with powerful lyrics by Anderson and performed with greatness. Also the low pace, heavy riffs are great. “Doors Of Misery” is another good track with a high potential of being more than good, it has fine riffs, solos and a nice catchy chorus. “Night Of The Neverending Sleep” and "Interface" joins in as solid tracks that can offer much more under different circumstances.

Hallows Eve could have made a much better effort in making this album more than decent. As a veteran Thrash Metal band it is well expected from them in their current state as a comeback act. They had all the fame in the 80’s and they have the strength to get it back.