HolyHell - HolyHell review



Reviewer:
4.0

29 users:
6.76
Band: HolyHell
Album: HolyHell
Release date: June 2009


01. Wings Of Light
02. Prophecy
03. Revelations
04. Eclipse
05. The Fall
06. Angel Of Darkness
07. Holy Water
08. Mephisto
09. Gates Of Hell
10. Resurrection
11. Last Vision
12. Apocalypse
13. Armageddon


Welcome everybody, thank you for being here and welcome to this marketing lesson. Today we will talk about an interesting case, the case of HolyHell which is a perfect way to represent the modern music industry. So let's talk about them and I hope that you'll understand that it can be easy to make money with a simple marketing plan.


Chapter 1: What kind of music can I do to make money?
A) "Euro" Power Metal
We saw lately that a lot of bands chose to play simple and absolutely tedious and repetitive Power Metal to catch potential fans who don't even try to listen to other kind of music and buy everything in the genre to be happy. In the case of HolyHell it is a perfect way to demonstrate that music industry is interested by those people. Just build a band, let them write absolutely boring and bland riffs and melodies and you finally get something ready for stores. The interesting point here is that some people will find the way to buy it. You could talk about it with your psychology teacher.

B) "Symphonic" Metal with female singers.
Another perfect example of a good marketing method in the music industry is the numerous so called "Symphonic Metal bands with female singers". Even if this method was absolutely powerful and worked perfectly in the 90's and beginning of the 00's, the HolyHell case demonstrates once more that it's possible to play this kind of music again in the hope to earn money. Obviously the success of the pioneers of the genre is still convincing and some people thought that it was a good idea to do it...again. The problem, and I hope that you'll understand it my beloved students, is that it doesn't work anymore. HolyHell doesn't propose anything new and will not convince you otherwise. The fact that their music is boring with, in addition, a singer who doesn't sing badly but who doesn't have a really special voice either will not save us. Though one more time, in a economic point of view, it's obvious that HolyHell's first album will find fans. Sadly...



Chapter 2: Case of "HolyHell", positive and negative points.
A) Positive points.
If you want to produce this kind of "powerful" album, you must have good production which is the case with HolyHell. Add some good musicians too and maybe it will work if the compositions are ok. Here the songs are well played without any doubt but they're too simple and weak to be convincing. Too bad the only positive point of this album cannot be convincing. If you really want to be persuasive don't forget to write catchy choruses and melodies at least.

B) Negative points.
In the case of "HolyHell" we can notice that the combo clearly lacks inspiration. It's obvious that this release has been written in a hurry and we can even imagine that a new future album is already in production. The songs are not deep and they are repetitive and boring. This is poor Power Metal which has been done a million times before this release. The people behind this project probably thought that it was cool to do this kind of music and that the result would have been perfect, breaking the trend. This is not the case. Too bad for HolyHell and the ones who will still buy those kind of releases despite the recommendations.



Conclusion:
With HolyHell, you can understand that music industry can still make sacrifices. Some good and interesting bands will never find a way to be produced, when some others will have the chance to be recorded and distributed all around the world. The paradox of this method is that the first bands will perhaps not release their CD on a major label but they will remain pure and original when the second ones will be sacrificed for the single fact to make money. HolyHell is probably not composed of the worst musicians but their compositions are so easy and simple that it was a mistake to release this album. Still nobody forced them to do that either and in the end, their first album is just a good example of a marketing product. Bad for them, good for some others, I hope at least that this lesson will teach you what you'll have to do if you want to be rich or want to do (and listen to) good music.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 2
Production: 7

Written by Jeff | 15.11.2009


 

Guest review by
ManiacBlasphemer
Rating:
8.0
The best way to describe a symphonic power metal band like HolyHell is like this, pick up a Manowar song, preferably from post-2000 albums, add a shredder that can definitely delight your ears with an explosion of riffs and a very talented female vocalist, and you get a very appealing debut album.

I do not want to enter in too many details, just that HolyHell managed to release a beast of an album, which unfortunately is extremely underrated. The fact that this band sounds so much like Manowar is because it has a contract with Joey DeMaio's label, Magic Circle Music, and a former Manowar drummer has also been lending his skills to this band.

Read more ››
published 08.11.2012 | Comments (4)


Comments

Comments: 26   Visited by: 213 users
16.11.2009 - 10:58
albatros
I enjoyed reading this. You turned a shallow topic into an essay.

I agree, the music industry might delay the coming out of more talented bands by its conservative distribution of record contracts. However the majority of listeners tends to go with big names, maybe driven by the hope that a little amount of the artists' fame will stick to them. "Look, I've bought the new Slayer album" ..

Fame is equalled with quality, see the MS100 for this ... I've seen quite a number of talented bands play in front of a depressingly small number of listeners. These bands got their record contracts, but it often took many years and countless live gigs before sales figures became worth mentioning.

So it's not just "the industry", but also "the audience", that is part of this plot. The only way to change this is to actively search for new talents and spread the word. I think this is partly what Metalstorm is about.
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16.11.2009 - 12:22
Kamil
Written by albatros on 16.11.2009 at 10:58


Fame is equalled with quality, see the MS100 for this ... I've seen quite a number of talented bands play in front of a depressingly small number of listeners. These bands got their record contracts, but it often took many years and countless live gigs before sales figures became worth mentioning.


That's true. There are many good undeground bands especially in USA, but without any media support they don't have chances with giants of this business.

Back on topic:
This album don't have power, sound and any memorable melodies. Orchestral parts and vocal are nice, but guitar is just boring
If someone want some really good symphonic power metal without female singers, check "Bible of The Beast" by Powerwolf
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16.11.2009 - 13:12
Angel_Lament
This is by far is the most nice reviews I've ever read, thanks Jeff.
and I agree with everything I read, although Symphonic Power is my favorite genre, but this album is so boring that I couldnt hear more than three songs, bad riffs and aweful vocals and no memorable moments in songs..
on the other hand, the "Conclusion" part is so right, I mean there are alot good bands (especially here in the Middle-east) that can't release even a demo not an album!! and bands like these get the chance to release an album every year....
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16.11.2009 - 13:15
Angel_Lament
Quote:
Quote:


If someone want some really good symphonic power metal without female singers, check "Bible of The Beast" by Powerwolf


I agree with you, this is a great symphonic Power album without female vocals!!
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16.11.2009 - 14:52
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Powerwolf is so full of cheese tho...
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loves 小巫
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16.11.2009 - 17:07
Kamil
Written by Ag Fox on 16.11.2009 at 14:52

Powerwolf is so full of cheese tho...

But differences between them and HH are so huge
Powerwolf are right now the best band in symphonic power
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16.11.2009 - 17:36
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Written by Kamil on 16.11.2009 at 17:07

Written by Ag Fox on 16.11.2009 at 14:52

Powerwolf is so full of cheese tho...

But differences between them and HH are so huge
Powerwolf are right now the best band in symphonic power
I agree with Powerwolf being better than Holy Hell, though it being the best symphonic power metal band? I think for this year both Fairyland and Dark Moor are better. For some reason Powerwolf made me cringe.
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loves 小巫
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16.11.2009 - 19:04
enumaelis
Written by Angel_Lament on 16.11.2009 at 13:12

this album is so boring that I couldnt hear more than three songs

I skipped in the middle of the second
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http://enumaelis.blogspot.com/
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16.11.2009 - 20:00
Angel_Lament
Written by Ag Fox on 16.11.2009 at 17:36

Written by Kamil on 16.11.2009 at 17:07

Written by Ag Fox on 16.11.2009 at 14:52

Powerwolf is so full of cheese tho...

But differences between them and HH are so huge
Powerwolf are right now the best band in symphonic power
I agree with Powerwolf being better than Holy Hell, though it being the best symphonic power metal band? I think for this year both Fairyland and Dark Moor are better. For some reason Powerwolf made me cringe.

I agree, this year showed that both Fairyland and Dark Moor are great bands in this genre (especially Dark Moor) with the release of their best albums yet...
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16.11.2009 - 22:30
corrupt
With a lowercase c
Isn't this band of of the Magic Circle Records' first contracts? At leastm I vaguely remember seeing them on the lineup of the first mcm festival. In that case I don't have any more questions your honor.
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Schwarzmetall!
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16.11.2009 - 22:39
Daggon
Underpaid M.D.
I listened some songs in their myspace and I found them annoying and boring, I don't know too much about Power metal this days but this album... duh, no comments.
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"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"
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17.11.2009 - 12:49
The Shape 1973
I was really hoping to like this album so that I could argue with the tone of the review, we get it you don't like power metal or symphonic metal. I do and I don't really care what anybody else says to put it down. I like what I like and that's all that matters to me.

I think that this year has produced some strong albums, Epica, Delain and Whyzdom which have made me happy, isn't that the point?

But unfortunately you are right about this album, it is piss poor. The vocals are alright, but everything else is really weak, especially the guitars, after a couple of weeks of listening to Design Your Universe I have been spoilt.
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I don't do inclusive
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17.11.2009 - 13:20
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by The Shape 1973 on 17.11.2009 at 12:49

I was really hoping to like this album so that I could argue with the tone of the review, we get it you don't like power metal or symphonic metal. I do and I don't really care what anybody else says to put it down. I like what I like and that's all that matters to me.


I lol'd a bit because seeing Jeff's collection I see many power/symphonic metal bands so I really doubt he's a hater of the genre. And I also doubt it because he's a staff member and I trust the fact that the staff members can't be fanboys/haters in their reviews... At least not without some good explanations like the ones posted in the review...
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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17.11.2009 - 13:51
Jeff
Freaky Admin
Yes yes Im not Marcel I have nothing against Power Metal (really) but I like good one, not bad one (and I hate when it's done just to be done... and sadly a lot of bands (and labels) did that lately).
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Come with us to Hellfest 2011!
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17.11.2009 - 14:04
The Shape 1973
Written by Jeff on 17.11.2009 at 13:51

Yes yes Im not Marcel I have nothing against Power Metal (really) but I like good one, not bad one (and I hate when it's done just to be done... and sadly a lot of bands (and labels) did that lately).

I think the same can be said of any music genre at the moment. When you watch Kerrang or Scuzz TV in the UK all that they play is Metalcore, over and over again with no power metal, classic metal, thrash etc at all.

All radio stations play is music for 12 year old black girls. UK mainstream TV is obsessed with anything to do with the show The X Factor (a "Talent" show to make Simon Cowell more money).

So if you have nothing but power/ symphonic metal all the time, consider yourself lucky. I think that we had Nightwish Nemo played once late at night on Kerrang.
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I don't do inclusive
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17.11.2009 - 14:10
Jeff
Freaky Admin
That's even worst in France.

Now I'm sorry but I saw a lot more of Nightwish clones and Euro Power bad bands lately than good Thrash, Doom or Progressive Stuff (not saying that we don't have too but not so much). And I can listen to and discover a LOT of new bands at work and via Metal Storm so with some objectivity, I think that I'm not so wrong.
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Come with us to Hellfest 2011!
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18.11.2009 - 00:59
wrathchild
That's exactly how I feel about this album. It's not bad but it's so standard that it feels terribly uninspired. The lyrics are basic, the guitars are good (Joe Stump!) but nothing is memorable (Joe Stump...)
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La belleza no reside en lo que puedas crear, sino en lo que eres capaz de transmitir
Beauty resides not in what you're able to create, but in what you're able to communicate


Txus, Mägo De Oz
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22.11.2009 - 20:54
Slayer666
Man, from the very first 30 seconds of listening to the song Armagedon on YouTube and reading some comments there, I am amazed how perfectly Jeff described not only the album, but the current state in the music industry.
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22.11.2009 - 21:24
Lord_Regnier
Congratulations for a spot-on review and a good analysis of the metal industry, especially when it comes to Euroflowermetal.


"We saw lately that a lot of bands chose to play simple and absolutely tedious and repetitive Power Metal to catch potential fans who don't even try to listen to other kind of music and buy everything in the genre to be happy".

It wasn't like that years ago, but PM is an abyss of mediocrity nowadays.
Always the same kind of hard rock-ish, pop-ish, simple, basic, boring and mediocre garbage that is not metal but a mockery of it, a disgrace. An insult to what PM once has been.
And, like you seem to say, the source of the problem is the fans of this genre, because they swallow every shit the industry throws at them, while not caring to look for decent metal music.
Power/speed Metal is pretty much dead today and it happened because of the fans who can't be critical for the sake of their lives and all those ones who only happen to like some soft pseudo-metal bands but listen to radio stuff otherwise and not to anything more extreme.


"Another perfect example of a good marketing method in the music industry is the numerous so called "Symphonic Metal bands with female singers",

Yeah, put a hot chick on the first line, so it will be a nice eye-candy during gigs. Even if female vocalists most of the time don't fit at all in metal. It's pure marketing and lowers metal to the rank of pop, in a sense, as it's exactly the same superficial attitude as for pop stars: looks over talent.

All this, and many other things too, make me despise PM nowadays. On many aspects, this genre is more like another kind of pop music than a metal genre.

P.S. I listened to the songs on their Myspace page (fast-forwarding many parts). This shit is even ten times more boring than I thought it would.
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"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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26.11.2009 - 13:23
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Now i simply must go and listen to this album
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So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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28.11.2009 - 15:20
Lord_Regnier
Written by Ellrohir on 26.11.2009 at 13:23

Now i simply must go and listen to this album


Even if you enjoy PM in general, I highly doubt you will like this.
I hate recent Edguy, Power Quest, etc but, imo, Holyhell is even worse than them.
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"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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29.11.2009 - 00:25
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Well i have to say, you are right...this is really bad stuff even for me
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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28.06.2010 - 23:57
SIL0KKI
As former member of Unholy (ex Holy Hell) i find this good promoting for us, as old Holy Hell demos are out in few months (gatefold double pic-LP's). this is good promoting for us as they use our ex - name..:banger:
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31.10.2010 - 16:43
albatros
Written by albatros on 16.11.2009 at 10:58

I enjoyed reading this. You turned a shallow topic into an essay.

I agree, the music industry might delay the coming out of more talented bands by its conservative distribution of record contracts. However the majority of listeners tends to go with big names, maybe driven by the hope that a little amount of the artists' fame will stick to them. "Look, I've bought the new Slayer album" ..

Fame is equalled with quality, see the MS100 for this ... I've seen quite a number of talented bands play in front of a depressingly small number of listeners. These bands got their record contracts, but it often took many years and countless live gigs before sales figures became worth mentioning.

So it's not just "the industry", but also "the audience", that is part of this plot. The only way to change this is to actively search for new talents and spread the word. I think this is partly what Metalstorm is about.


Almost one year after I wrote this, I need to make an amendment. I still stand to these my general remarks, but for me they are no longer applicable to this band.

One week ago I heard them play in Belgium and enjoyed their show very much. They really touched me and got under my skin.

It was their melange of bombast, steadily driving rock rythms and yearning melancholy that highly appealed to me. It was pretty much the same feeling that made me a fan of Manowar in their early days or of Grave Digger also quite a while ago.

The female vocals are simply of very good quality. Her low voice is especially strong and quite unique. And her warmhearted stage presence is really something to behold.

The album is not quite up to their live performance, but still a very nice souvenir to the gig. The number of real filler tracks is remarkably low. The song structure is straighforward, but the sing along factor is high and the songs are filled with catchy melodies.

The lyrics are indeed as generic as can be, but power metal was never known for its poetic strength. However it is quite possible to have fun with the instrumental part of the band's output, as was nicely demonstrated last Sunday on the Metal Female Voices Festival.

So, that will teach me to write about something without own hands-on experience. I'd like to encourage fans of both power metal and female fronted rock to try out this band on CD or live, at least if you don't mind a bit of cheese and your intellectual stakes aren't set too high.
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10.04.2012 - 18:51
Valentin B
Iconoclast
I had to suffer this band open for (who else?) Manowar back in 2009. Four good things about their show: they played a decent version of Holy Diver, the vocalist is hot as hell, and the guitars and drums are good (the drummer is Manowar's former drummer Rhino).

The most exciting part of their show was when Joey DeMaio appeared out of nowhere to announce the band. That's how "good" their show was.
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Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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15.07.2012 - 02:01
Spacerunner
Their music is no way that bad or something. And for those who don't care about lack of originality or different marketing things and are purely into the good music it's a gift. Easy-listening metal with wonderful atmosphere and catchy choruses. Maybe it's too long. I would make it 3-4 songs shorter to make it more consistent.
And "The Fall" is on par with best heavy-metal ballads ever written.
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