It has been a long time coming, but I am stoked to report that Alton, Illinois' Hellraiser are finally releasing a follow-up to their 1995 debut-album "Cut Yer Teeth On This"! That's right ladies and gentlemen. The very same Hellraiser that appeared in my January 8th, 2012 Forgotten Gems article* has announced the long-overdue release of album number. Man alive I never thought I would see the day that this hard & heavy outfit would treat us to another round of down-home/shot-worthy metal so imagine my surprise when lead vocalist/songwriter J.W. Street contacted me out of the blue to ask if I would be interested in covering the group's new release! Of course the answer to that question was a rousing "Hell Yeah!"! And as much as I loved the band's last album, "Cut Yer Teeth On This", there is simply no comparison between the two recordings. "No Turning Back" is not just the band's sophomore release and it sure as hell is not just another hard rock/heavy metal platter. Instead, "No Turning Back" is (hand's down!!!!) the COMEBACK album of the year! All I can say is WOW! Band members Jeff Street, Robert Thornton (Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar & Backing Vocals), Brett Hall (Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals) and Craig Moss (Drums & Backing Vocals) have outdone themselves and then some! Obviously these heavy rockers spilled some serious blood over the making of this new album as it is one ass-kicking monster of a metal album from start to finish! October 25th is it's tentative due date and for fans of Hellraiser this album will be well-worth the long wait! So, what of the album then? Well, read on! The overture "Time (Stands Still For No One)" leads right into "No Turning Back" and my first thought was was "I am totally digging the mix of Motörhead, Judas Priest, Metallica and Motley Crüe!". Heavy as it gets and a hundred times more hot than their name suggests, Hellraiser makes quick work of the naysayers who still insist that rock and roll is a young man's game with "Stand Up" serving as their battle cry! "Devil Woman" is blistering AC/DC worship (as if there is anything wrong with that!) while "Locked And Loaded" is outlaw Kiss. I must confess that by this point in "No Turning Back" I did start to wonder if this was the same band that made "Cut Yer Teeth On This". Simply put the energy of this band is off the charts! Talk about getting better with age! It's as if the years off did nothing but rejuvenate this band. I mean "King Of The Road" sounds like Dio getting shitfaced with American hard rock/blue's band The Four Horsemen while "Go Away (Bitch)" is AC/DC and/or Krokus as envisioned by a dirty gang of riff-hungry garage metalheads! Love it! "Little Bit Of Action" is Hellraiser doing what they do best. By mixing up a lethal cocktail of rock, hard rock and heavy metal and then delivering it straight to the listeners eardrums it's nothing short of heaven! The regularly version of "No Turning Back" ends strong with "Nuthin 4 Nuthin....." and it's cuts like this (where the band perfectly blends together the likes of AC/DC, Guns 'N Roses and Motörhead" that leave you aching for more! I'll tell you what. I had to hit repeat several times just because I could not get enough of the new Hellraiser! This one is just track after track of hard rock gold! Now, while the regularly album ends there (incl. my "bootleg" copy which simply reads "Radio Promo Copy"!) the digital version of "No Turning Back" looks like it will include two bonus tracks! At least that is per the group's Facebook page. The two tracks in question are on "Heatstrokes" (Krokus) and "Trick or Treat" (Fastway). As I have not heard the two cover tracks I cannot in good conscience comment on the quality (or lack thereof) of these digital album exclusives. That said, both Krokus and Fastway are like-minded acts making the choice of covers a particularly inspiring event. The thing is no matter what version of Hellraiser's upcoming album you spring for we're still talking about the strength of the group's original compositions. That is the heart of "No Turning Back" and it's a heart that will hopefully keep on pumping this kind of killer music! Let's just hope that the wait between this one and album three isn't quite so long!
You can find the band online here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hellraiser/216918791685237
Labels: 2014, 2014 best of, comeback album of 2014. 2014, hard rock/heavy metal, Hellraiser, Likely Lemmy approved, metal news, real heavy metal, Sophomore release