After disbanding in 1987, legendary British occult metal act HELL was reincarnated in 2011, with Andy Sneap (guitar) and David Bower (vocals) joining original members Kev Bower (guitar, keyboards), Tony Speakman (bass) and Tim Bowler (drums). Now the British quintet is about the release the follow-up to its highly acclaimed 2011 debut, "Human Remains". The band's sophomore offering, "Curse And Chapter", will be made avialable on November 22 via Nuclear Blast. The effort will include a bonus DVD containing six songs from HELL's February 23, 2013 show at the Darwin Suite Assembly Rooms in Derby. A single, "The Age Of Nefarious", will precede the full-length album this fall.
Commented Sneap on the upcoming release: "We've been working solid on the album for the last couple of months between gigs, although we've been demoing to a good standard over the last year or so.
"This time around the album consists of around 50% old material, 50% new.
"We really see this as a band that’s moving forward rather than a nostalgia trip. Obviously, there's a lot of history within the band, but there's also a whole world of ideas we want to get out.
"We have this week left tracking. Four more vocals and bass to get down, two more songs of guitar and then mix.
"I'm super happy with how things are shaping up. It feels more like a band on this record to me than the first, which, I guess, is just a natural progression of everyone playing together a lot more over the last couple of years."
Concerning the lyrical content, vocalist David Bower added: "Alongside some of our favorite themes of historical, political and religious persecution, intolerance and prejudice, you will find some good old fashioned myths and legends being invoked and reinterpreted in our own inimitable way. We also have some songs in which the listener will be implicitly invited to solve the clues contained in the lyrics in order to find the meaning of the stories for themselves. Being completely aware that many people interpret things in ways that writers do not expect as a matter of course, it seemed logical to take that idea a little further."
About the album title, Bower explains: "It's a hellish play on words of the English saying chapter and verse, and also a reference to a song lyric in 'The Age Of Nefarious', the opening track on the record."
"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.