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Crucifer - Helbound Angel 1996 / HTF

$100.00

01. Midnight

02. Why

03. Kick It

04. Hellbound Angel

05. Wild And Free

06. Sweet Miss Fortune

07. The Power Of The Flame

08. Just The Way

09. Questions

10. In The World

11. Hellbound Angel (Live) (Bonus Track)

 

Dave Rowley - Vocals

Brandon Pilling - Guitars

Darren Scott - Bass

Christopher James Barker - Drum

 

Old school heavy metal sounding a tad bit like early-Scorpions. What most interested me about this disc was actually the cover art. Stupid as that sounds, every band that has an album cover painted by Rodney Matthews (Veni Domine, Seventh Angel, Asia) has been a favorite of mine. This one, unfortunately, is not. Not a bad disc, just not a frequent player.

Produced by maestro Paul May, striking cover art from Rodney Matthews and a good dollop of the heavy stuff from one of the UK's finest practitioners. The opening couple of songs "Midnight" and "Why" blaze away in a time honoured, somewhat stylised manner, leading to a pleasing, raw acoustic track "Kick It" on which Dave Rowley's emotional vocal ability goes down a treat. Nice bit of harmonica too, Dave. The title track is predictably a total bash, high on the sheer aggression register. "In The World" has a powerful, confrontational lyric and thudding beat that drives the message home.

10 tracks of good rock/metal strong on truth if lacking any particularly distinctive ingredients.And What About The Demo "IN THE WOLRD".Maybe this is a classic of mange metal (or whatever the latest subdivision of heavy metal is called). Maybe I'm simply too venerable to be cutting edge any more and should retire to my pullovers, comfy slippers and Saint and Messiah Prophet albums. But I though this 4-song CD...er...rubbish, mainly because the lead singer can't sing a lick. Grandpa Cummings has spoken and now retires from the metal arena to give the young dudes (with hair) plenty of room to shout me down.

Dave Rowley was formerly the lead vocalist with Heavy Metal band CRUCIFER.They released one album - 'Hellbound Angel' which was distributed in the UK,Europe and the USA.Crucifer played many gigs throughout their time - these included appearances with Michael Sweet and Oz Fox of Stryper. One of their final gigs was at the X-treme festival in Cardiff which was headlined by Motorhead.Dave then concentrated on his solo career as a singer songwriter, playing at acoustic venues around the Northwest and in 1996/97 was the winner of the Northwest singer songwriter competition.

His debut album 'The Road Home' received favourable reviews in magazines such as Guitarist, Country Music International and Cross Rhythms."A very good first foray into the realms of country music"-Country Music International"If Dave spreads his wings a little further things could go well,":-Guitarist "Uses his earthy vocals to create a unique feel" Dave and band received good responses from performances at the Greenbelt and Meltdown music festivals ,He performs acoustically as a solo artist or with a band depending on the venue and the occasion. Daves influences range from Thin Lizzy to The Alarm to The Eagles and even to the New Country Scene yet the sound is very much his own.

Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe this is a classic of mange metal (or whatever the latest subdivision of heavy metal is called). Maybe I'm simply too venerable to be cutting edge any more and should retire to my pullovers, comfy slippers and Saint and Messiah Prophet albums. But I though this 4-song CD...er...rubbish, mainly because the lead singer can't sing a lick. Grandpa Cummings has spoken and now retires from the metal arena to give the young dudes (with hair) plenty of room to shout me down.

Metal doesn't come any rawer than Crucifer. Where many American bands are moving to AOR ("wimping out" if you're a metal head), Crucifer still revel in sledgehammer riffs and a lead vocalist who's bawled exhortations show not the slightest sign of learning the rules of music. Since 1989 Crucifer have been playing the pubs and clubs of Lancaster where they have made successful inroads into the darker side of the club/pub scene. Lead guitarist Brandon Pilling and Darren Stott, bass guitarist, along with the sound and light crew were formerly in Alliance, a group which disbanded in 1988. They made the nucleus for the new band with Dave Rowley lead vocalist, who was formerly in the band called Beyond The Shadow and joining when they disbanded. This though soon became a quartet when Chris Barker responded to an ad for a drummer and Crucifer was born.

 

Dave Rowley explained the aim of the band. "We are trying to break through boundaries and break down barriers that are put up in the metal scene about what Christianity is. We hope to show that metal doesn't have to be about dark things but it can also be about positive issues."

 

I asked Dave how the band had been received: "When we play we don't stand up and preach, we just let the lyrics do the speaking. If we were to preach some of the audience would be ready to jump up in arms! To begin with we had a lot of press response because we were Christian and people were wary of us. But now we are respected and our stage show is well liked. Image is really important in the metal scene, so when we're on stage we take this very seriously, to make sure we create the correct atmosphere and image. Not only through the songs but also through the light effects."

 

Crucifer have previously cut two tapes, Crucifer Unchained' and 'Stone Cold', and which sell well at gigs. In a move to promote the band they have now produced a 4-song CD 'In The World' which they hope will help them obtain a distribution deal. They are also in the middle of creating a video. David explained the idea behind this: "The video is narrative with live shots of us playing at gigs. The idea is to promote the band in a professional way in the Christian sector to get more gigs and to hopefully get into schools. In fact we're playing in a school in Liverpool soon during the lunch break."


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