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HELLION
HELLION
To Hellion And Back (Anthology 1983 - 2014)
(Cherry Red Records)
121:46min

If you are into traditional '80s Heavy Metal for a while, then most probably this band needs no special introduction. And if you like female fronted acts, then most probably you already have a couple of HELLION releases in your collection, or at least you know them - because the truth is that American HELLION was one of the biggest names in the genre, when it comes to bands with female vocalists. It's also worth mentioning there were few bands named HELLION, but if you will say this name to a random Metal fan, then in 99% cases he will think about THIS one. The band was founded by Ann Boleyn (great nickname, isn't it?) in 1982, and their releases such as "Screams In The Night", "Postcards From The Asylum", or the terrific album titled "The Black Book", are already legendary. Even if it was a real band from flesh and bones, it was clear that fans follow Ann (who used to be called "female Dio" back in the day) and she is both face and voice of the band. Actually even some of the band releases - like the "Queen Of Hell" compilation from 2000, were issued under the the name ANN BOLEYN, not HELLION. Counting from 1991, the band actually did just 2 real albums: mentioned "The Black Book", and then "Will Not Go Quietly" in 2003 (which to be honest was a really weird release, musically far away from what we all knew and expected from HELLION), but except for that we got a bunch of EP, compilation and live releases. Last year (2013) Ann announced the return of HELLION, and this double disc compilation was probably the best way to say "hello, we are back". Or better, "hello, I AM back", as it's Ann and "new" guys in the band: drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, QUEENSRŸCHE, DIO, DIO DISCIPLES), keyboardist Scott Warren (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL), Swedish bassist Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, DIO DISCIPLES), and lead guitarist Maxxxwell Carlisle). "To Hellion And Back" includes the biggest hits and a bunch of well known songs of the band, a couple of rare recordings, and one brand new song recorded by the current line-up titled 'Hell Has No Fury' - if the announced new HELLION album will sound like that, then it looks like the band is back to glory, as they returned to their classic and unique style. Let's sum it up: this compilation was a great idea, because some younger fans will have an opportunity to check the band out (previous compilations are out of print for ages and not so easy to find) - but let's hope it's just the start, and we will really see the entire back catalog being reissued. And yes, the new album. Bring it on, we are ready! More information: www.hellion.us, www.facebook.com/hellion.official and www.cherryred.co.uk

Bart Gabriel

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