Monday, March 1, 2010

Heavy Italian Stoner Metal Part 1.

Take to bits of Stoner Rock and mix it with one bit of Entombed and then you got Allhelluja. This Italian Stoner Metal band likes it raw and right in your face. Their debut album Inferno Museum is full of high octane aggression without losing the Stoner vibe. This album contains ten great songs, all killers! Enjoy!

The short story is that Allhelluja plays a heavier than average brand of stoner rock. The long version is that the band sounds like what might happen if Kyuss and Orange Goblin threw Entombed into a van and rode around town doing bong hits. The occasional vague traces of Motorhead, early Soundgarden and Mudhoney, as well as The Cult (vocally), give some indication of what must have been on the radio during that night on the town. Allhelluja is an Italian band that includes Danish front man Jacob Bredahl, who you might know from Hatesphere. Inferno Museum is their first effort.

What makes Inferno Museum worth the price of admission is Allhelluja’s somewhat darker take on the genre. The album is based on Dead Man Upright, a Derek Raymond novel about sexual predation and murder (Hey, they can’t all be about Moby Dick), and the band does an admirable job crafting music that suitably captures the themes and tone of the story while remaining rooted in their genre. As a result, some of the material has a darkly seductive, serpentine quality that is reminiscent, in function if not sound, of Danzig. This makes for an interesting juxtaposition with the less dangerous, suburban sound of the head shaking, good time rock and roll, and several times the band also takes advantage of the incongruence of darker lyrical themes and music which has an upbeat and more casual tone. Otherwise, Allhelluja have the kind of foot stompin’-brownie spikin’-lava lamp lovin’-Camaro drivin’-garage rockin’-beer drinkin’-greasy haired-tie dyed-amps fried raucous spirit that is best served with the windows down and volume cranked to eleven. Bredahl turns in a nice performance showcasing some quality vocal diversity, comfortably moving between clean and rasping singing and higher registered wails and gruff growls. With only a few exceptions, these transitions go a long way to helping pull off the album’s stoner/predator split personality. “Your Savior is Here” is the perfect representation of the band’s strengths. The song is based on a rock solid groove, adds some nice retro-styled falsetto in the chorus, has an aggressive, growled section in the middle, and all the while the guitars squeal and weave circles around a rock solid, driving rhythm.

This is the kind of stuff that has a wide middle ground–as long as it’s done competently it’s damn hard to deny, but only a small percentage of these albums is able to make a play for long term playlist domination. Inferno Museum is easy to enjoy and is delivered with a suitable production and solid musicianship, which when combined with the band's warped, toke and kill take on the style, makes the album worth exploring. Nice debut.

(By Matt Mooring at

Allhelluja - Inferno Museum (2005)

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