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Polish power/speed/thrash metal! - 90%

Zdan, October 9th, 2004

Hellfire is the Polish band, formed in 1999 and probably the only one playing power/thrash (with a good dose of speed metal) in the underground Polish scene. And they play one hell of power/thrash!!! Take one cup of Attacker, mix it some Metal Church, add a bit of Helstar, put some thrashing on the top and add a amazing vocalist in Tomek Twardowski and what you get??? That's right - Hellfire!!!

Having one self-released album ("Recoffination") on their belt, and major work done on the next one, Hellfire graces us with this single. It was given away at one of their gigs for free and you can of course buy it through the band's website.

Ok, onto the music:

This small gem of metal starts with "The Dark Riddle" a vicious speed/thrash metal song in vein of Recoffination's "Sin". From the begginnig we are greeted with a agressive riff ala Slayer (maybe more speed metal-like) and ferocious double-bass drumming from Grzegorz Olejnik. The drums overall slay in this song! Lot's of fills, the drumming going from slower thumping to full-on double bass speed metal madness.
But the guitars don't stay behind. Olejnik and Grabowski grace us with a handfull of amazing riffs. The main agressive riff which alternates to a more "traditonal" metal riffing when the tempo changes. Of course we are provided with a obligatory solo from Olejnijk. The solo is not someting mind-blowing but still pretty decent. Overall the riff and tempo changes blend perfectly to create one hell of headbanger!

Second on the single is "Twist Of The Knife". With this song the band takes a more melodic, heavy/power metal approach. But don't be afraid! The guitars still cut like razors and the bass is more audible of this song too. The heaviness is still there. The drummer does not shine as much as on the first tune, but still does his job fairly and hit all the needed points. The song is kept in medium tempo, but still forces your head to bang...and includes a very cool chorus-like to be yelled out by bangers on gigs.
There is yet another crackin' part in the song - when Olejnik and Grabowski trade off solos in a classic metal vein. Very good showcase of abilities from both guitarists.

The vocalist Tomek Twardowski as mentioned earlier is amazing. On both songs the mixes deepth and agression with a melodic approach. I tried to compare him to some other vocalists I know but to no avail. And that is another plus of Hellfire's shouter - a unique voice and style. Some might like it, some might not, but that is a matter of taste...
Also a big improvement over "Recoffination" is reduced use of the vibratto technique that was all over the place on the earlier CD and some people I know could not stand it. I personally did not dislike it, but the "harsher" voice is better and more suited to the agressive nature of the music....

The production is nothing to write about. Pretty standard modern stuff with every instrument audible and the vocals on the top. Comparable with "normal" (remember this is a self-released single) releases in terms of sound quality.

The next upcoming Hellfire album is a concept one, so not much talk can be done about the lyrics. They are horror-like in a King Diamond-esqe kind. The two track are just "torn" from the album so the lyrics might not make much sense. Just wait for the full album and the whole story (which features suicider girl - Mary, a haunted house from hell and a whole lotta horror goodies...)

Overall....a great "true" metal single and a must for every Polish power or thrash metal fan!