The number of female fronted bands is getting bigger and bigger while the music they play becomes more diverse. Nevertheless, there are some genres where female fronted bands are rather rare stuff, like Thrash Metal or NWOBHM. However, NWOBHM was always a kingdom of men: I apologize for my ignorance but the only female band that comes to mind is legendary Girlschool, which musicians from Sicilian band Hellraiders focus on. And now they release their debut album Fighting Hard.
Hellraiders was founded in 2013 by guitarist Vince and bassist Sirio that wanted to play dirty Heavy Metal Rock’-n’-roll in vine of Motorhead and NWOBHM adding some punk there. Choosing name wasn’t a hard task for these guys, though: Sirio is a Harley rider so the biker theme is close for him. Soon they were joined by drummer Frank ‘DP’ Scuderi, guitarist Fabrizio and vocalist Thrasher Lady. In 2015 the band released an EP …Beat To Death, continuing to perform, rehearse and create music and after five years here comes their first longplay Fighting Hard.
Basically, Hellraiders captured the spirit of dirty and heavy Rock’-n’-roll pretty good: the title “Hellriders” and “Fighting Hard” are smooth rhythmical songs with dirty guitar sound, melodic solos and quite heavy drums. “Starving For Your Blood” also starts as perky Rock’-n’-roll but continues with catchy Diamond Head-esque chorus; Thrasher Lady’s vocals, which confidently hits the high notes also need to be mentioned. Anyway, it’s one of the most memorable songs in the album.
Talking about memorable songs it is impossible to pass by the energetic “Kill For Beer” with catchy riff and quite rough Thrasher Lady’s vocals. Here we also got a good, melodic and quite technical guitar solo.
There are plenty of NWOBHM in this album too. Opening instrumental “Raider’s Rage” (which sounds like a full-fledged song without lyrics) with cinematic yells cavalry yells and guitar riff that runs into it is a typical classic Heavy Metal. Next one “Beat To Death”, which has strongly pronounced Saxon vibes is totally NWOBHM. Fast one “Cursed By The Gods” reminds “Kill The King” in its spirit and middle-tempo “They Live” sounds classical (I will dare to say “archaically”), mostly goes to early Judas Priest territory.
Of course there is a ballad in this album, the song named “Prince Of Hell”. It’s slow, with melancholic finger-picking riff and distinct bass. In the middle the song increases the pace becoming typical Heavy with long guitar solo but then returns into its ballad form. Acoustic version of “They Live”, which ends the album, can be also counted as a ballad and it need to be said that it’s not quite clear which version in more interesting: classical Heavy Metal or acoustic ballad.
There biggest lack of this album as for me is the vocal. It’s not bad, but sometimes it’s doesn’t match the music. Thrasher Lady is good at hitting the high notes, as I said, but when she tries to put some aggression in her voice or sing roughly, it’s not always works: the cover for Girlschool‘s “Emergency” displays it in the best way. The songs are not becoming bad because of it, absolutely not, but they don’t reach the “great” bar, staying at “quite good” level. Nevertheless I can mistake because I heard only the record and haven’t seen the band’s live show.
Anyway, this band has a big potential, musicians are passionate what they are doing and take the music they are inspired by, with piety and seriously. Also don’t forget that this is a debut album and I really think the next one will be way better.
Fighting Hard will be released on March, 30 via Inferno Records.
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