T.H.L.-Thirteenth Hell Level
Sent my way from the ever reliable Stefano Gottardi, "Thirteenth Hell Level" is a 10-track release from Italian hard & heavy outfit T.H.L. Featuring eight original compositions and two choice cover songs in the from of "Born To Be Wild" (Steppenwolf) and "Honky Tonk Woman" (The Rolling Stones), "Thirteenth Hell Level" is also this band's full-length debut album. And it's a recommended one at that! Formed in 2010, T.H.L. (Thirteenth Hell Level) is a five-piece band whose influences range from Alice Cooper to Metallica (by way of Dokken, Skid Row, Poison and Dangerous Toys!) and on this solid CD the band's opening number, "Master Dominio", set's in motion a rock and roll train that speeds along the track with reckless abandon! Infused with the blood of hard rock icons like Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Mötley Crüe and Kiss these Hell City rock and rollers light up the night on cuts like "Really Cruel" and "Erythroxylum" before treating us to what just might be the first female cover of "Born To Be Wild" out there! To be sure it's a different take on the Steppenwolf classic, but damn if it doesn't just make you want to cut the rug then brother you might want to check your pulse again because it's quite likely you're dead! Granted T.H.L. doesn't seem to have the same luck with "Honky Tonk Woman" and that's a shame as I am a HUGE fan of the original! But on "Born To Be Wild" they make it right and for a band that is otherwise lyrically-deep with their songs (the above mentioned "Erythroxylum" deals with drugs, "Sociopathic" is a look at modern society while "Forget" tackles the ugly reality that is rape and "War", well, that is self-explanatory!) it's both a fun diversion as well as little a peak at a different side of these skilled rockers! Cressi Federica does a great job of leading this lot and with a second album in the works (one which is rumored to be a concept album) T.H.L. has put themselves in a nice position to succeed. Fans of classic hard rock and heavy rock/heavy metal should find much to appreciate about "Thirteenth Hell Level".