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HALLOWS EVE
HALLOWS EVE
The Neverending Sleep
(Hallows Eve Media)
50:26min

Let's face the facts: "Evil Never Dies", the album, that was supposed to be HALLOWS EVE's comeback release, by no means lived up to the expectations of their loyal fanbase (and probably didn't gain them too many new followers either). The critics weren't the best and (from what I've read) this line-up also didn't really manage to impress in a live situation... So, there were only two options for the band: to split-up again or to take the criticism to heart, reunite with original singer Stacy Anderson and give it another try. Luckily founding member and bassplayer Tommy Stewart went for option number two and not only got Stacy back on board, it seems he also replaced the entire "Evil Never Dies" line-up with fresh blood as well. So, what we got here now obviously HAS to be pretty different from "Evil Never Dies". But is it really worth to be checked out by old HALLOWS EVE fans? Even though I'm still not entirely convinced by "The Neverending Sleep", I still would say: yes, it is! There's a bunch of songs on this record that turned out really killer and that finally deliver the old HALLOWS EVE vibe again. Tracks like 'Night Of The Neverending Sleep', 'Dominion Resurrected' or 'The Sun Must Die' include all the necessary trademarks of classic HALLOWS EVE and are musically rooted somewhere in-between their "Tales Of Terror" and "Death And Insanity" albums. Overall mostly as raw as 'Plunging To Megadeath', yet blessed with the necessary hooks and vocal melodies in the chorus section that the band got so famous for back in the 80s. 'Army Of One' is another great one, pretty much in the midpaced 'D.I.E.' vein, yet with a very intense chorus. 'Doors Of Misery' and the very heavy sounding, over 7 minutes long 'Dance Of The Dead' (don't like the chorus here though) deserve a positive mention here as well, while the remaining stuff on the record unfortunately is pretty much lacking in this quality. More fillers than killers so to speak. The worst of all to me being '72 Virgins', which is really annoying to listen to... Anyway, the coverart (as well as the raw old school production) is simply great and easily makes you forget about the unprofessional packing of "Evil Never Dies", so give these guys another chance. It's pretty obvious that they have learned their lesson, so they truely deserve it! Sound samples of some of the new songs can be found at www.myspace.com/hallowsevemusic, the album can be ordered from www.hallowsevemusic.com.

Frank Stöver

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