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Hellscream > Made Immortal > Reviews > bayern
Hellscream - Made Immortal

Imagine Me a Full-Scale Old School Resurrection - 92%

bayern, September 4th, 2019

Have you ever pondered over the prospect of combining caged, ready to burst at any moment old school speed metal and a fairly imaginary, nearly hypothetical classic power/thrash hybrid? If you have then you have certainly reached the same conclusion as me, that the final result of such tempestuous marriage can only be a piercing, apocalyptic hellish scream, or Hellscream to put it short.

And yep, this is exactly what has occurred on the works of the collaboration between the Cage axeman Dave Garcia and the Imagika vocalist Norman Skinner, turbulent, quite fierce on occasion retro power/speed metal that would invariably remind of both father bands, the model to be followed more closely being Imagika’s magnum (eponym)opus “Devils on Both Sides”, only less thrash-fixated, the album reviewed here a most shining example of ironclad classic metal from the first to the last note.

Although the adherence to speed is quite prominent all over, there’s only a welcoming sniff of the no-bars-held “Painkiller”-worshipping fireworks of Cage (the piercing “Hellscream” a notable exception); a really captivating symbiosis has been achieved, one that could possibly turn to something more individualistic with time, Skinner’s excellent both emotional and threatening tirades bringing the delivery more often in the vicinity of the Imagika repertoire, but don’t even expect to guess correctly which direction the delivery would swing on a track-by-track basis as more carefully-woven near-thrash experiences (“Mind Reapers”, “Worldwide Divide”) easily deal with predictability and stringent power/speed metal pageants. Officiant exercises in heavy pounding seismicity (“Phoenix (We'll Rise)”) are truly a rarity, and although the same can’t be said about the flying short blitzkriegers (“Gorgon Stare”, the dramatic galloper “Act of God”) it’s on the more diverse, less scholastic shredders like “Made Immortal” and “VII” that the guys reach for the skies, unleashing their creativity to the max, Skinner the ultimate supervisor of the lofty musicalities with his versatile performance, covering a wide range of moods, never sounding uninspired or nonchalant even for a split second.

To these romantically-inclined (at this particular point in time) ears the highlight is “When Forever Ends”, an impossibly catchy, ultra-infectious heavy/power metal odyssey; this isn’t some fast’n concrete pop-metal sugarism, the number lasts for nearly 6.5-min, but this is one of the most consummate layouts of bouncy, restless lyricism I have ever encountered; an atmospheric balladic introduction, poignant lead-driven passages, sudden speedier strokes, a jumpy rhythm-section, and last but not least Skinner’s towering participation; the man literally takes your soul with arguably his finest exploit behind the mike… a sheer no-brainer of a classic metal for which alone this album is a must-listen at least thrice.

Yeah, old school metal steel can very seldom get any better that that; give it to two hardened veterans from the field to bend it in all directions imaginable (please note the few Skinner’s intimidating deathy escapades as well) and still come up with something so genuinely compelling. Immortal, like the title says? Hm, I’ve never considered this word a measurement for success within the music scope… I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like a regular enterprise at this stage, this collaboration with the sequel (another very strong, similarly-styled) showing up more than six whole years later… immortality usually beckons to those who stay on these roads more defiantly and steadfastly… with both Imagika and Cage kicking with vitality to spare at present, I’m not sure how frequently the guys would be able to unleash those hellish screams…

as an example of greatly composed, straight-from-the-heart music? By all means; in fact, I have the feeling that when forever ends, the actual forever I mean, not just the mentioned song, more than just a few fans will be going back to those irregularly provided, but ultimately effective, screams… be it for vengeance or for those seductive love bites.