Hell Dwellers - demo 2001 CD


From Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)

Facts:
-The band name is the Hell Dwellers
-A four-member band comprised of a bassist, drummer, guitarist and lead vocalist
-They are from Italy
-They proclaim to be "Stoned Forever" and "ůVoted to Drink"
-Some of the band influences stated in their bio are Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Iggy and the Stooges, and Blue Cheer, to name a few.
-Another Hell Dweller quote, "All kinds of drunk people seems [sic] to love our RNR from Hell!"
-A three-song CD sampler recorded in June of 2001 and mixed in December 2001
Recorded on 4 tracks and mixed at the Basement Studio
-The only three tracks on the CD sampler are all under 5 minutes and 11 seconds in length
-The title of the first track is "Baghdad," the second track title is "Push-o-rama" and the third is "Voted to Hell."

Critique:
"The Hell Dwellers were spit out of hell in 1998." Thus, the band bio begins. I momentarily paused questioning the seriousness of such a band introduction. Indeed, many of their self-reflective remarks tended to be a bit "over-the-top." The "Facts" above point out what I mean. Musically, the four-member band does not come close to equaling the creative levels of their influences. To be as fair as possible, I admit that I am not a fan of some of their influences but at least the sampler could have been varied in style or approach. No apparent spark arises that an Are You Experienced? or Black Sabbath track would ignite. These earlier works have far more ominous overtones and hallucinogenic trips and innovative musical ideas that the Hell Dwellers sadly fail to capture. Obviously underdeveloped, this set of songs by the Hell Dwellers will only leave listeners with acquiescent feelings. My point is this: it was hard to decipher one track from another. That alone says enough! If I didn't know when one track ended and the next began, I would have thought I listened to an 11:45 track, alas 11:45 worth of questionable music. Possibly, more tracks would have allowed the band to exhibit a greater range of style. But that's a moot point since this sampler is supposed to provide a varied representation of the band.

Perhaps this group from Italy is taking on a blatant '80s pop/rock/metal aesthetic, one that says, "We know that we have nothing interesting to say, or anything musically new to offer but we like to party hard and create names that yield imagery of being heavy, intense and cool." Remember, the Hell Dwellers are "Stoned Forever" and as they state, "We're voted to drink."

For more information you can email the at: HellDwellers@hotmail.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Hell Dwellers; c/o Cristiano Nicosia; Via Cilento 10; 36100 Vicenza; Italy.

Reviewed by Rashad Salahuddin


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