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rock on - 86%

ironasinmaiden, December 24th, 2002

Upon the release of Rock Hell, many reviewers labeled Gandalf a mix of In Flames and AC/DC.... not such a bad comparison, if I do say myself. They play hard rock enfused with a melodic metal base, possibly more Iron Maiden than In Flames.

Opener L8X Queen has the title of a Poison song, a riff that reminds me of Sentenced, and those Gothenburg snarled vocals. Throughout the album, growled vocals are relieved by pretty half assed clean ones during choruses and other critical moments, to varying effects. There are some pretty nice leads and guitar melodies here and there, and the songwriting is all together solid and quite catchy (try to get One More for the Dead out of your head).

Standouts include Human Value Zero, the afforemention L8X Queen, and Castle of the Stars, a well executed power ballad of sorts that serves as a fine climax to a fine album. So if "iron maiden meets ac/dc with lindberg style vocals" means anything to you, this will kick your ass. Hard.