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Swing, Swing, Swing The Studded Mace! - 60%

CHAIRTHROWER, December 24th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2006, 7" vinyl, Iron Bonehead Productions (Limited edition)

One thing I miss about collecting vinyl is the odd 7" which sprouted up now and then. That said, Helvetets Port's Heavy Metal Strike Single from 2006 would have made a fine collection piece. Actually, it's more of a demo or super short EP as there's three tracks adding up to roughly eleven minutes of catchy traditional metal chops with a good measure of medieval cheese chucked in for interesting theatrical effect.

The first song, "Heavy Metal Night", features arch typical speedy and melodic NWOBHM riffs and a couple of regal Ian Anderson style flute solos. Helvetets Port's songs average two to three minutes yet the band does a decent job of making the best of this relatively short duration. "Swing The Studded Mace" is vocalist/guitarist Witchfinder's mildly thrashy call to arms, while bassist Inquisitor and drummer O. Thunder (!) provide the backdrop to this cheeky metal anthem.

On "Hårdrockens förkämpe"'s first listen, Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" will likely spring to mind for metal heads weaned on hard 70s rock as it revolves around a highly similar. crunchy, stop & go riff, also straddling the line between credible, classic hard rock such as Cheap Trick or Montrose and outright cock rock a la B.T.O. and Rick Derringer. "Hardrockens forkampe" is nevertheless a welcome, six-minute finale, cutting the single's whimsy factor in half and thus making it worth perusing. The fact it's written exclusively in Swedish ups the ante a little as well. I've yet to hear the band's most recent EP, Man With Chains, from 2010, yet but after listening to their full-length debut, Exodus To Hell ('09) moments before, I can definitely say this is the heaviest, raunchiest and outright ballsiest track I've heard from the band so far, surpassing anything off said ensuing release, which is much more polished but not without its faults, thus failing to live up to expectations brought on by this mildly promising sneak preview of a 7".