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Beyond The Boundaries Of Sin
(Shadow Kingdom Records)

Mark Shelton, is one creative creature. The man is mostly known of course for his involvement in the epic Heavy Metal warriors MANILLA ROAD, even if he has also placed his finger into many other bands in the past too (THE CIRCUS MAXIMUS, EMBRYO, THUMBLEWEED, APOCALYPSE, etc.). Mark's latest band or project carries the HELLWELL moniker, in which he has combined elements of dark, epic and progressive Heavy Metal with Doom Metal, wrapping all this up with DEEP PURPLE-esque keyboard parts. Sounds like a true winner's concept, doesn't it? Well, that's what it is in my sincere opinion too. Honestly, I have personally enjoyed HELLWELL's "Beyond The Boundaries Of Sin" record teeny-weeny more than some MANILLA ROAD records that he has done with his main band over the years. Almost at the age of 55, Mark has proved his undying passion as a song- as well as lyric-writer. Along with E.C. Hellwell (who also did backing vocals and played bass on MANILLA ROAD's 2011 album, "Playground Of The Damned") and Jonny Benson - in addition of Bryan Patrick and Joshua Castillo (both also in the current MANILLA ROAD line-up), HELWELL's "Beyond The Boundaries Of Sin" is a fuckin' great piece of dark, sinister and amazingly heavy Heavy / Doom Metal, having lots of strong character and deep charm squeezed into it. Take for example the last song on this record called 'End Of Days', which lasts over 13-minutes all in all. The song itself is such a criminally pompous and creepy work of awe-inspiring Heavy / Doom Metal that someone would surely kill for it if being able to create something alike for his / her own Heavy / Doom Metal record. A work of a hard-boiled genius? You bet it is. The whole album almost screams to be liked by every fan of an obscure and powerful sounding Heavy / Doom Metal - and whether this would only remain the first and last album from HELLWELL, it would be remembered one of Mark's strongest achievements musically for sure, I believe. All this, let me say just three more words at last: highly fuckin' recommended. For more info about HELLWELL, go here, labels: or

Luxi Lahtinen

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