|Review: Black Hawk - Straight to Hell|
|Straight to Hell|
Label: Karthago Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: December 21, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Straight to Hell
Rated 4/5 (80%) (18 Votes)
Black Hawk's Straight to Hell is such a disappointment. Not because I was expecting anything from the band. I'd never heard of them before this album, even though they've been around since 1981. What should be a kick-ass album full of Heavy Metal riffs reminiscent of early Megadeth and King Diamond, along side Power Metal double-kick drums and solos, is marred by the vocals of Udo Bethke. His flat singing isn't the worst I've heard, but it's enough to sap the album of any punch it might have had.
Vocals aside, there's plenty of Heavy Metal to be found on Straight to Hell. The opening riff on the title track gallops like Iron Maiden while the drums on "Nothing to Lose" evoke the mighty Iron Savior. My favorite track has to be "Crystal Shark Pt. 1." Not only is it an instrumental, and therefore, no off key singing, but guitarists Thorsten Bettge and Wolfgang Tewes let their fingers fly up and down their fret boards. These guys definitely have some chops. It's the only track on the album that had me tapping my foot. Not all of the songs are great, however, some are weak, even when the vocals aren't taken into the equation. The biggest misstep has to be the cover of Saxon's "Crusader." An iconic song from and iconic band, it would be hard for any band to do the song justice. To hear Bethke struggle through the chorus is sad.
I don't know if Bethke has just "lost it" or if some other factor has affected his singing, but on Straight to Hell, it is undeniably bad and the album suffers as a result. Not even the cool riffs and solos can save this one.
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