What sounds like a new movie by the zombie-specialist George A. Romero is in fact the new RAISE HELL album. Their debut “Holy Target” was very much influenced by Death Metal, with the second release “Not Dead Yet” more and more the Heavy Metal roots took place. Now, with their fourth record “City Of The Damned” coming out, they sound like a typical Speed- or Thrash Metal-combo like MORGANA LEFAY. At least the voice of Jimmy Fjällendal sounds a lot like Charles Rytkönen. Partly they sound like GRAVE DIGGER, though! Nevertheless it’s still very thrash-metallic.
Bands which change their style from album to album, you’ll never know what to expect. On one hand the Band might shoot an own-goal. PARADISE LOST, MORGOTH and especially METALLICA lost a lot of the old die-hard-fans after their musical changes. Well, I had now idea what to expect here and I’m positively surprised to hear such a great album. Death Metal is pretty much gone now, but none of the old fans should leave their backs to the band. The songs are melodic, but still heavy.
I never thought RAISE HELL are able to release such a varied album. The mid-tempo-based title track knows to enthuse as well as the faster up-tempo-stuff like “Devil’s Station”, “Open Your Mind” (cool riff!) and the double-bass-banger “My Shadow”. Who wrote the Swedish guys already off should give “City Of The Damned” a try and RAISE HELL another chance. Even Power Metal-fans could like this one. Changing their musical style isn’t always bad! (Online July 8, 2006)