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HMS Music Spotlight

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this release from American shock rock outfit Fiend, led by the ever dutiful Hellsing 1313. I mean what’s not to like about a band that mixes glam, rock and metal into a grotesquerie of images and sounds, all done while saluting the flag to horror films and culture. This is definitely one outfit HMS is proud to have the opportunity to review their debut disc “American Undead”.

What I like about their debut is how the band just goes for it, ripping into the tracks with razor sharp riffs and cajoled by the shrill vocals of their lord and master Hellsing 1313. This dude takes performers like Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson, mixing them into an alchemical elixir to give new meaning to the word “frontman”. I really dig what this cat is all about and after the techno flavored opening; his commanding presence is heard loud and clear on the title track “American Undead”. The song gets your blood pumping and that hard rock swagger is fully pronounced here; illustrating how much this band means business.

“Black Rider X” starts with a soundbite from the movie Race With the Devil and then blasts your ears off right from the start. My initial thoughts are a harder version of White Zombie and let me tell you Hellsing is in top form here. I swear his vocal stylings could raise the dead and it helps to have two brilliant guitarists like Jonny Bloodlust and Ridley Brain Rot kicking into high gear and providing the sonic mayhem to match. The next track “Fiend Without a Coffin” starts with another soundbite and then chugs forth into full blasphemy. The pace isn’t as frantic as the previous two tracks, but I found this number entertaining as hell.

“Murder Ride” gets back to the jet fueled hard rock swagger, but adds a dash of punk into the mix. I feel a good comparison here is a band like Warrior Soul – that mixes punk, metal and some glam. Their vocalist Kory Clarke can really pierce your eardrums with his screeching tone, and Hellsing could easily rival that with his own unique shrills and barkings.

American Undead
(Nekro Fiend Records)
Written by: Kenneth Gallant
8 out of 10

But top things off, Fiend decides to end their debut with a bombastic track called “Cemetery Girl” and it’s like all hands on deck for this number; proving the outfit as a whole can bring the metal mayhem into one full-swoop. Once the track fades out, we get hit with a cover of one of my all-time favorite Kiss tracks “God of Thunder”. I loved how the band stayed faithful to the song, but still putting their unique stamp on it. Obviously, Kiss is one of Hellsing’s influences – so it’s a great to find this track completing the debut.

American Undead is a great start for a band like Fiend and if you dig transgressive sounds that include metal, punk and glam – then get your hands on a copy of this baby. The killer sounds emanating from this disc are guaranteed to raise the dead and help signal the apocalypse, so what better way to celebrate the end times with a band like Fiend; just do it!

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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