Metal Shock Finland‘s Blackdiamond conducted an interview with the legendary British occult metal act HELL at this year’s Hammerfest, which was held March 15-18, 2012 in Prestatyn, North Wales. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud player below.
HELL‘s latest album, “Human Remains”, entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 46.
Cited as a huge indirect influence, and as one of the true founding fathers of occult metal, HELL formed in 1982 from the carcasses of U.K. metal bands RACE AGAINST TIME and PARALEX, whose “White Lightning” EP was listed by METALLICA as a favorite, and which was subsequently included on the Lars Ulrich, Geoff Barton “NWOBHM ’79 Revisited” sampler album.
Despite over five years of constant touring, the band was cruelly overlooked by the ’80s music press, who just didn’t get it. HELL were too different, too extreme, too musically intelligent and far too thought-provoking for all but the most enlightened to understand them. The final crushing blow came when their long-awaited 1986 album deal with Mausoleum collapsed as the label went bankrupt, followed by the tragic suicide of singer/guitarist Dave Halliday in 1987. The remaining members drew a line in the sand and stopped playing overnight.
A teenage Andy Sneap was a permanent fixture on the front row of almost every show HELL played and was also taught to play guitar by Halliday. He then went on to form SABBAT and become a renowned metal producer. Upon meeting again, the remaining members of HELL — Kev Bower (guitar/keyboards), Tony Speakman (bass) and Tim Bowler (drums) — talked with Andy about re-recording the old material to release in conjunction with the old demos. With Sneap replacing Halliday on guitar and David Bower on vocals, the band has recorded 10 HELL classics from the ’80s.
Professionally filmed video footage of HELL‘s performance at last year’s installment of the Summer Breeze festival, which was held August 18-20, 2011 in Dinkelsbühl, Germany, can be seen below.
Performance (2011 edition of Summer Breeze festival):