Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hell's Chopper-First Ride


Motorbikes, half naked dancers, alcohol, endless nights, sweat and Rock ‘n’ Roll this is Hell's Chopper!

That's what came packaged with this promo. While I do appreciate that description it didn't give me much to go on when it comes to this heavy metal act. Thank the maker we have Google right? As it turns out Hell's Chopper hails from Italy (the new home of heavy metal as far as I'm concerned!) and this is it (release-wise) for the band. Also the Metal Archives has this album coming out in 2013 and missing the last-track, "Ride On You!". My best guess then is that this is the second pressing of "First Ride" with that steamroller of a rocker "Ride On You!" tacked on to give it that extra special KICK. Not that it needed it mind you! Even without "Ride On You!" this ones a real bad-ass rock platter! With Paolo De Leonardis (Paulie) doing his thing on lead vocals (which turns out to be kind of devastating as Paulie sounds as if he could have been the front-man of a gritty eighties metal band!) Hell's Chopper churns out cut after cut of street-ready hard rockers with the likes of Motörhead, AC/DC, Grim Reaper, Kiss, Guns N' Roses, Rose Tattoo and Thin Lizzy seemingly serving as inspiration! Luca "The Italian Stallion" Scalese (Gigo) and Andrea Rusconi (Rusco) (rhythm guitar and background vocals and lead guitar respectively) handle the strings on "First Ride" and both they do a damn fine job at it! There's far too many cool moments to mention, but one example of their skill (besides the excellent opener "Mental Blindness"!) would be "A Chopper from Hell". Here the leads recall bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maidens as does "Burn The Witches" (which is one number that could easily pass for an eighties metal song!). Meanwhile you have "In Your Faces" where the ghost of Randy Rhodes stops by to jam and on "Feel The Fire" the band channels all things Dio! Throw in nods to Accept ("Kingdome's Free" would have been a perfect fit for "Balls To The Wall"!), (mid-period) Black Sabbath, (early) Mötley Crüe, Riot, Zodiac Mindwarp, Twisted sister, W.A.S.P. and even bands like Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth and you end up with an album that should be on every metalhead's want list! Armed with a great rhythm* the band makes a song like the Ozzy-rocker "Struggle for Breathe" sound easy and I can honestly say that by the time this album wrapped up I was more then a little hooked on Hell's Chopper! For a band that has been around since 2007 and is this good it's kind of surprising that it is only now that we're hearing anything about them here in the states! Either way though now it is their time to shine and if you can somehow get a copy of "First Ride" then by all means do so! Find out more about Hell's Chopper and why it is that I can't help but envision "First Ride" being on Lemmy's iPod by checking the  group out here: 

*Bassist Jacopo Longhi (Bobo) and drummer/backing vocalist Patrick "Animal" Pavesi. Be sure to check out Bobo's bass playing on "A-Train"! Sweet!

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