"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Hell In The Club - "Shadow Of The Monster" (CD)

Hell In The Club - "Shadow Of The Monster" CD cover image

"Shadow Of The Monster" track listing:

1. DANCE!
2. Enjoy the Ride
3. Hell Sweet Hell
4. Shadow of the Monster
5. The Life & Death of Mr. Nobody
6. Appetite
7. Naked
8. Le Cirque des Horreurs
9. Try Me, Hate Me
10. Money Changes Everything

Reviewed by on January 1, 2016

"Now on the third studio effort 'Shadow of the Monster,' you can hear the growth and cohesion in the songwriting, especially in the endless stream of memorable hooks and choruses."

With one of the most dynamic vocalists in folk metal, Elvenking’s Davide “Damna” Moras, Hell In The Club becomes an instant buy. Now on the third studio effort “Shadow of the Monster” you can hear the growth and cohesion in the songwriting, especially in the endless stream of memorable hooks and choruses. The band really sounds like the Italian answer to Hardcore Superstar, as Moras also sports a pseudo Jeff Keith (Tesla) style. If that sounds like a bad thing….you really ought to check out Hardcore Superstar. Plain and simple, it seems that European bands perform hard rock right.

With all the edge of “Theater of Pain” era Motley Crue mixed with the infectious choruses of Elvenking, Hell In The Club reels off hook after hook starting off with “DANCE!” Not your typical “metal” tune, the song will likely garner more gags than horns at first look, but go ahead and listen. I’m fairly certain you’ll be singing “Dance, dance to the top, rock the night and never stop…wanna make it out with you” too. The fetching trend continues with “Enjoy the Ride” and album favorite, the blues driven “Hell Sweet Hell.”

The one song that really permeates that Hardcore Superstar comparison is “Le Cirque Des Horreures,” with its witty and surreal intro that blasts forth into the album’s most head charging anthem. Right alongside that is the driving “Appetite” and punchy “Enjoy the Ride.” The album ends on a whimper with the ballad “Money Changes Everything.”

It’s a virtual certainty that not every track on “Shadow of the Monster” will appeal to all fans, but the variety of material is a huge plus. So many influences both classic and modern flow through the fingers of Andrea Piccardi’s strings…they range all the way from Crue (check out “Try Me, Hate Me”) to Train (check out “The Life & Death of Mr. Nobody”). The underlying current that brings all those influences together is that energetic edge…a pop that slaps the listener square on the forehead. If that sounds too scary and broad for the average metalhead, then you’ll likely move along. Again…this is hard rock done right.

I can sum up the sound in two words: Simone Mularoni. If you’ve read any of my reviews over time, you know those two words equal perfect. It’s really getting old and sometimes I wish Simone would screw up so I had more things to say. The mix is seamless, the sound is pristine….blah, blah, blah. Next.

Hell In The Club is quickly ascending to the top of the hard rock acts from Europe. Having this creative outlet only allows Moras’ work in Elvenking to shine that much brighter. It’s purely coincidental, but ever since Hell In tTe Club started in 2009, each respective Elvenking album has become better and better from "Red Silent Tides" to "The Pagan Manifesto." Wait…this is not about Elvenking – its about Hell In The Club, right? If hard rock with a Motley Crue influenced, Hardcore Superstar infused, Train laced edge is up your alley, you really cannot do much better than "Shadow of the Monster."

Highs: Energetic and edgy hard rock with myriad influences and catchy hooks.

Lows: The range of influences might be too much for the typical metalhead.

Bottom line: Hell in the Club may live in the "Shadow of the Monster" acts, but you will certainly "Enjoy the Ride."

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)