Many consider Rob Rock to be one the finest voices in Rock and Metal. His powerful, emotional voice can be heard in many bands and projects, including IMPELLITTERI, WARRIOR and AVANTASIA. His last release, “Eyes Of Eternity”, was a very good Power/Melodic Metal album. So it’s a wonder why Rob Rock and his self-monikered band are not more popular amongst genre fans.
Well, if there’s any justice in the Metal world, Rob Rock’s latest release, “Holy Hell”, will finally see Mr. Rock joining the heavyweights of the Power Metal genre. While not perfect, “Holy Hell” is full of headbanging, fist-pumping sing-a-longs, such as “Slayer Of Souls”, “Calling Angels”, “Holy Hell”, and “When Darkness Reigns”. The album closes with the hymn-like “Move On”, which features guest vocals by EDGUY main man, Tobias Sammet. The only real weak spot on “Holy Hell” is the ballad, “I’ll Be Waiting For You”. It’s not necessarily a bad song, it just feels out of place.
Rob Rock himself is in fine form on “Holy Hell”, his voice as powerful as ever, and he has surrounded himself with several notable musicians. This includes metal-producer extraordinaire Roy Z, known for his work with Bruce Dickinson, HALFORD and JUDAS PRIEST, who lends his production, writing and guitar-playing skills to “Holy Hell”. Everything here is clear and heavy, as fans have come to expect from Roy’s work. Carljohan Grimmark, guitars, and Andreas Olsen, bass, both of NARNIA and Bobby Jarzombek, drums, of ICED EARTH, all lend their talents to “Holy Hell” as well. There is no shortage of talent on this album.
Also worth mentioning are the lyrics. Some of you are probably aware that Rob Rock is considered a Christian artist. With that said, the lyrics on “Holy Hell” deal mainly with Christian topics, but never in a preachy way. In fact, with so many pseudo-Satanic bands out there, Rock’s lyrics are actually rather refreshing. And many of the lyrics are dealing with rather dark topics, such as the end of the world, so this isn’t all happy angels and lambs.
Overall, “Holy Hell” is another quality album from Rob Rock, and is recommended to all fans of Power and Melodic Metal. You won’t be disappointed. (Online June 7, 2006)