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Warlock

Hellbound

Review by Gary Hill

The second studio album from Warlock, this is a fierce metal set well worth revisiting. This was the first album from the band I ever owned, so it has a special place in my heart. It was released in 1985. The band would release two more albums before more or less ceasing to exist. It could be argued that when lead singer Doro Pesch put together her own band Doro that it became the new version of Warlock, though. Either way, the four discs recorded under that moniker are classic, and this is my favorite of the bunch.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Hellbound
The guitar brings this thing in with style. The sounds of an audience are heard. The band really power it up with a fast paced metal arrangement. The vocals are suitably fierce. This is such a strong tune and great album opener. The chorus hook is great, too. There is some guitar soloing at the end of the track, too.
All Night
A drum-in starts this. The rest of the band join, and we're out into a metal jam that is energized, but less fierce than the opener was. It drops back a bit for the verse section. There are some cool, almost mysterious, and dramatic overtones on parts of this cut. The tune has a really anthemic chorus, too. This is another potent metal tune on an album that's full of them.
Earthshaker Rock
They waste no time firing out into this screaming hot stomper. This is closer to the style of the opener. There is a percussive drop down bit in the mix. They don't lose any intensity or power for it, though. This is metal for all its worth. I really like the expressive guitar solo on this thing.
Wrathchild
I dig the opening metal arrangement on this. It seems a little tentative, while having some fierce guitar soloing that promises something special. The number works out to another potent metal stomper. In fact, this has always been one of my favorites on this disc.
Down and Out
While they don't lose any power or metal intensity here, this has more of an AOR metal vibe to it. It has some great hooks, though. This shift at the end is pretty fierce.
Out of Control
The opening of this has a bit of a tentative, mysterious, almost cinematic vibe to it. The cut screams out from there with style and power. This is another highlight of the disc.
Time to Die
Drums lead this out. The cut fires in from there as an intense, fast-paced metal jam. This is nothing unexpected, but another competent and energized metal tune. Pesch's vocals reach some of the most powerful moments of the whole album, too. The guitar solo is particularly tasty, too.
Shout It Out
A fierce guitar based opening brings this into being. Pesch screams over the top of the introduction. The tune fires into a more mainstream metal approach for the verse. There is a killer guitar fill after the first verse. This is one of the more effective pieces here. Given the competition, that says a lot. There is some rather melodic guitar soloing later in the piece, but this is all about the metal fury.
Catch My Heart
The closer begins as a metal ballad. Picked guitar serves as the backdrop for electric guitar soloing on the introduction. The acoustic guitar takes control and is the backing for the mellower, but emotional, vocal performance. The cut gradually begins to intensify as it continues. It never rises all the way up to searing rocker zones, but does become more of a power ballad. There is a little weird bit of effects at the end of the piece.
 
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