ROB ROCK - HOLY HELL - AFM
Listen to Slayer Of Souls the opening song on Rob Rock's new album and you will hear many comparisons to newer Iron Maiden. Throughout Holy Hell one hears a lot of traditional and trustworthy heavy metal and influences from the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and bands they influenced like Primal Fear and Sinner. Aside from the album opener, I'm A Warrior (which is an older song and has guitars a la George Lynch) and When Darkness Reigns are good songs. The latter begins with a drum roll that promises a progressive stance and a Rush influence without actually delivering on it and the former has the advantage of one of the album's more exciting riffs. Otherwise, brilliant or amazing moments are rare. Rob Rock simply plods its heavy metal in a workmanlike and efficient manner. The slow song I'll Be Waiting For You is pure cheese, for instance. If anyone knows why bands cannot match the style, power and innovation of the masters then he should write me. In the meanwhile, albums like Holy Hell are certainly preferred over the thousands of defiled and impure sub-genres which have sprung into action in recent years. - Ali "the Metallian"