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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Krokus

Hellraiser

Review by Greg Olma

I have always had a soft spot for Krokus. I started following their career early on with Metal Rendez-vous on up to Change Of Address. I don’t know exactly what it was, the image or the music, but I lost interest, only occasionally checking in to see what they were up to. Once Marc Storace was out of the band, I completely lost interest. He was the voice of Krokus and with him; they establish their “sound”. I was happy to hear that he returned to the fold for 2003’s Rock The Block. While that record was good, it was a little too boogie for me. With Hellraiser, Krokus have rediscovered their metal side. Sure, they have retained some of their boogie elements from Rock The Block but on this release they keep it more straight ahead metal ‘n’ roll. Now, you are not going to get a lot of variety on a Krokus record but the quality and performance is such that they have found their winning formula and they are sticking to it. Mandy Meyer also returned for this album and I don’t know if this is the kickstart they needed, but this is their strongest output since Headhunter - and I don’t make that statement very lightly.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hellraiser
The title cut is a good boogie rocker in the AC/DC tradition. I hate to cop out and compare them to AC/DC like everyone else but Krokus does it so well. It’s meant to be a compliment. I already like this CD better than the last one, Rock The Block.
Too Wired To Sleep
Things don’t let up at all as we get another mid-paced rocker. Like Motorhead and AC/DC (there’s that comparison again), Krokus do not deviate too much from their winning sound.
Hangman
It only makes sense that the boys would go back a bit to their heyday and try to replicate some of their success. “Hangman” has that classic 80’s Krokus sound. It is also a nice change from the more boogie sounding newer stuff.
Angel Of My Dreams
An Irish sounding riff starts this cut. This is the natural successor to “Screaming In The Night” off of Headhunter. If they were to release a single, this would be the perfect choice.
Fight On
This is one of the heavier tracks on the CD. It starts off with a dirty sounding riff and moves into a simple but catchy rocker. The guitar solo is especially good on this tune.
So Long
No record from an 80’s band would be complete without a power ballad. What makes this one good is that it is not cheezy. It’s not the best track on the album but I certainly wouldn’t skip over it.
Spirit of The Night
I could have sworn this riff was used on Dokken’s “Lightnin’ Strikes Again.” Although it is really close sounding to that song, it would make a great opener for a Krokus show.
Midnite Fantasy
Some AC/DC riffing starts off this piece but it goes off into melodic rock territory. Marc Storace sings this one in a Paul Rogers style, making it another winner off this record.
No Risk No Gain
This cut sounds like it could have been off of Rock The Block. It’s a boogie rocker played well but there is nothing really special about it.
Turning Inside Out
I like this rocker even though it hints a little at Motley Crue. There is still enough of that Krokus sound to keep you happy.
Take My Love
I wish they would have tried harder to come up with a better chorus because this cut could have been really good. It’s a slow bluesy rocker with great verses but the chorus is too average and it brings the song down a bit.
Justice
One thing that Storace and the boys are good at is writing a catchy tune. This is a great example of that. The beginning might fool you with its southern rock intro but once it kicks in, it’s Krokus rock ‘n’ roll all the way.
Love Will Survive
The riff is very similar to “Metal Gods” by Judas Priest. The chorus is a little strange but otherwise it’s a good song. It’s nothing special but certainly nothing bad either.
Rocks Off!
On this last song, we get a fast paced rocker with lyrics that speak to us old timers. I like this song but I’m a bit surprised at the placing it has on the record as a whole. It’s too good of a song to be tucked away last on the CD.
 
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